Pancho Vladigerov

One hundred and twenty years years ago, on 13 March 1899, in a Zurich clinic, Switzerland, Pancho Vladigerov was born. The happy parents Haralan and Eliza Vladigerov were visited with a double joy – 18 hours before Panko-Danilo (such were his baptismal names), on 12 March, his twin brother Lyuben-Raphael was born. Both of them were endowed with musical talents: Lyuben would become a violinist and Pancho – a pianist and composer, a high-ranking figure, cited by history as a classic of Bulgarian music. Initially, he studied piano with Henrich Wisner and composition with Dobri Hristov at the Private School of Music in Sofia. Between 1912 and 1915, he studied at the State Higher School of Music in Berlin  in the classes of Heinrich Bart – piano and Paul Juon – composition. In 1922, Vladigerov graduated with distinction from the Berlin Academy of Arts where he majored in piano under Leonid Kreutzer and composition under Friedrich Gernsheim and Georg Schumann. Even as a student, he was awarded twice the Mendelssohn Prize (1918 and 1920). At the invitation of theatre director Max Reinhard, Vladigerov worked as a pianist and composer at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin (1920-32). In 1932, he returned to Bulgaria and for four decades served as professor of piano, chamber music and composition at the National Academy of Music in Sofia, which is nowadays named after him. Winner of many international and Bulgarian awards, including the prestigious Herder Award (1968). After the great artist are named a Sofia boulevard and a street in Shumen, in his honour grateful Bulgarians named Vladigerov Passage in the Biscoe Islands in Antarctica. The family home in Shumen where he grew up and his house in Sofia have been converted into museums, and the International Pancho Vladigerov Competition in Shumen has been established since 1986.

Pancho Vladigerov’s famous Vardar Rhapsody is a national musical emblem, while the significance of his oeuvre, rich and unique, from the early years of his Berlin education to the later opuses is commensurable with great European music – a fact which was noted by his first mentor in the “craft”, Dobri Hristov following the successes of his early works. Numerous recordings have captured his artistry as remarkable piano virtuoso and conductor. The great musician was the Teacher of an entire generation of Bulgarian composers – Lazar Nikolov, Konstantin Iliev, Alexander Raychev, Vassil Kazandzhiev, Ivan Spassov, Pencho Stoyanov, Krassimir Kyurkchiysky, Milcho Leviev, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Julia Tsenova, etc. The Master’s numerous opuses reveal his versatile talent: he created concertos for piano and for violin, two symphonies, the opera Tsar Kaloyan and the ballet A Legend of the Lake, works for piano and various chamber ensembles, pieces and suites for orchestra, theatre music, solo songs.


"Aquarelles", Op.37
"Elegiac Romance" for Violoncello and Orchestra
"Horo" for Violin and Orchestra from "Two Bulgarian Paraphrases", Op.18, No.1
"Improvisation and Toccata" for Symphony Orchestra
"My Dear Mom Wondered" from Six Bulgarian Folk Songs for Voice and Piano
"Solitude" Symphonic Prelude
"Song" from "Bulgarian Suite", Version for Violin and Orchestra
"The Dancer from the East" from Four Pieces for Piano, Op.10
A Song from Bulgarian Suite
An Old Man Pastures Cattle
Aria from "Two Romanian Symphonic Sketches", Op.39
Aria of Baldwin
Autumn Elegy from Op.15, No.2 (Transcription for Symphony Orchestra)
Balkan Dance from Pictures for Piano, Op. 46 (Transcription for Orchestra)
Bulgarian Rhapsody "Vardar", Op.16 (1951), Version for Violin and Orchestra
Bulgarian Rhapsody Vardar, op.16
Bulgarian Songs and Dances for Piano, op.25
Bulgarian Suite, Op.21 for Symphony Orchestra
Burlesque for violin and orchestra, Op.14
Classical and Romantical, op. 24
Concert Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra, Op.35
Concerto for violin and Orchestra in F Μinor
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra № 2 in G Minor, Op. 61
Dances from "Tsar Kaloyan"
Divertimento – Five Pieces for a Chamber Orchestra
Dramatic poem “Song to Peace” for Symphony Orchestra, Op.52
Exotic Dance from Op.17 (Transcription for Symphony Orchestra)
Four Frescoes for Piano, Op.69
Four Pieces for String Orchestra
Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op.12 (Illusion, Intermezzo, Northern Romance, Romantic Waltz)
Four Romanian Symphonic Dances, Op.38
Four Songs for High Voice and Piano or Symphony Orchestra After Nikolay Liliev’s Lyrics
Four Waltzes for Symphony Orchestra
Jewish poem
Lyulin Impressions
Mar Dimitro lyo
Overture “The Ninth of September”, Op.45
Piano Concerto No.1 in A minor, Op.6 (1918)
Piano Concerto No.2
Piano Concerto No.3 in B-flat minor, Op.31
Piano Concerto No.4
Piano miniatures “Shumen”, Op.29
Prelude in Bulgarian Style (Bogdane) from Six Exotic Preludes, Op.17 - Transcription for Symphony Orchestra
Rigadoon, Sarabande, Minuet, Short March from Cycle "Classic and Romantic"
Scandinavian Suite, Op. 13
Seven Bulgarian Folk Songs for Bass and Orchestra
Seven Bulgarian Symphonic Dances, Op.23
Six Exotic Preludes, Op.17 for Symphony Orchestra (Transcription from the Original Cycle for Piano)
Six lyric songs after Dora Gabe’s lyrics for High Voice and Piano, op. 5 (Orchestra Version from 1978)
Six Symphonic Novelettes from opuses 59 and 60
Sonata for Violin and Piano in D major, Op.1
Song and Ratchenitza from Miniatures "Shumen"
Suite for Two Pianos
Suite from Ballet "A Legend about the Lake"
Suite No.2 from Ballet "A Legend About the Lake", Op.40
Symphonic Legend, Op.8
Symphony No.1
Symphony No.2 "May", Op.44
Three Bagatelles for Piano, Op.70
Three Concert Pieces for Orchestra
Three Impressions for Orchestra from Opus 9
Three Pieces for String Orchestra/Quartet (Prelude from Op. 36, No. 1; Nostalgia Op. 36 No. 2; Dance Op. 37, No. 3
Three Songs
Toccata from "Improvisation and Toccata" for Orchestra
Two Dances from Opera "Tsar Kaloyan"
Two Pieces (Nocturne of the Desert, Romance and Cakewalk) from the incidental music to the play “Caesar and Cleopatra”
Two Romanian Symphonic Sketches, Op 39
Two-movement Cycle for Symphony orchestra: "Solitude" from Op. 10, № 3 and "Elemental Dance" from Op. 53, № 3
Vardar Rhapsody
XI Variations for Piano on a Bulgarian Folk Song ("Gorda Stara planina")

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