Honour to Bulgarian composers' patriarch

Music by Pancho Vladigerov is performed in tribute to his 120th anniversary

Pancho Vladigerov, composer, conductor and pedagogue.

In 2019, the music community of Bulgaria celebrates the 120th anniversary of Pancho Vladigerov, author of the iconic Vardar Rhapsody. The composer, who was born 13 March 1899 in Zurich and died 8 September 1978 in Sofia, introduced Bulgarian music abroad. He is the author of the first Bulgarian concertos for violin and for piano. Among his admirers were Albert Einstein, David Oistrach, Herbert von Karajan, Alexis Weissenberg and many others, while among his multiple awards stands out the Herder Prize for his contribution to the European musical heritage.

Sofia Opera and Ballet Theatre celebrates the jubilee with the sole ballet by the eminent composer - Legend of the Lake, in which the rich flavour and poetry of Vladigerov's music rise to life to be intertwined with a dramatic tale of man and nature, love and hatred, war and peace. This ballet has not been staged in Sofia Opera since 1962. Today's performance is the work of Donvena Pandurski, scenography and costumes are by Pavel Shappo.

“I have accepted with gratitude the invitation by Opera Director Plamen Kartaloff to create a new performance of the Legend of the Lake,” Pandurski says. “To me it is a privilege to come back to my home city, to the theatre where I made my first steps as a professional and, on top of all, to be tasked with such a difficult job - to create a performance to the music of Pancho Vladigerov, so immensely rich and dedicated to the 120th anniversary of this great Bulgarian composer! His impression, poetry and profound dramatism, in combination with the fiery original dynamics of the irregular folklore beats, have provoked me to seek modern interpretation of this work. And after my long absence in recent years, I came to get acquainted with the ballet troupe and saw those brilliant young people exuding the energy of modern days, and history started unfolding before my eyes at a full cadence. A legend about a man of the past seen through the eyes of the present and striving for the future… I hope that thorough our mutual cooperation with all the participants we will be able to reach the hearts of the people and thus pay our homage to composer Pancho Vladigerov.”

On 21 March, Sofia Philharmonics opens the European Music Festival 2019 with a concert dedicated to the patriarch of the Bulgarian composers' school. The Concerto for Violin No.1, Jewish Poem, and Divertimento for Symphony Orchestra are the works which comprise only a part of the musical explorations of the great Bulgarian composer. They will sound under the baton of maestro Georgi Dimitrov, a musician who has special sensitivity for the works of Vladigerov. The soloist will be Mario Hossen.

Pleven Philharmonics started the year of 2019 with a concert on 17 January dedicated to the 120th anniversary of Pancho Vladigerov. The celebrations of the great Bulgarian composer continued with a gala concert at the National Academy of Music in Sofia which is named after him. In Shumen, Vladigerov's native city, a documentary exhibition was inaugurated dedicated to the life of the world-famous composer featuring photos donated by the local Pancho Vladigerov museum fund.

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