On 17 March the same year it was renamed Union of Composers, Musicologists and Concert Artists based in Sofia. In 1954 after it had become a union of composers and musicologists, it was renamed once again Union of Bulgarian Composers (UBC).
The body was chaired by Lubomir Pipkov (1947–1954), Philip Koutev (1954–1972), Dimitar Petkov (1972–1980), Alexander Raychev (1980–1990), Parashkev Hadjiev (1990–1992), Lazar Nikolov (1992–1999) and Victor Chuchkov (1999–2005), Velislav Zaimov (since 2005). As a result of the political changes after 1989 and following tension within the organisation itself, the structure of the Union of Bulgarian Composers changed. As a creative association, its members in 2006 amounted to over 160 including composers representing various age groups, music genres and trends. In 1994 an independent Section of Musicologists was founded within the Union of Bulgarian Composers with S.R. Elena Stoin (b. 1915) – a doyen of the folklorist science in Bulgaria – as Honorary Chairwoman. Today over 76 professionals studying the work of Bulgarian composers, the Bulgarian folklore, musical mediavistics, contemporary ethnomusicological phenomena, music and modern technologies, etc. are members of the Musicologists’ Section. The section was chaired by Prof. Dr. Elena Toncheva (1994–1999), S.R. Dr. Elisaveta Valchinova-Chendova (1999–2005), Prof. Veska Tzinandova-Haralampieva, Ph.D. (2005-2008), Prof. Dr. Elisaveta Valchinova-Chendova (since 2008).
During the decades after the World War II, the coexistence of authors belonging to different generations determined also the coexistence of various styles and trends as witnessed by the lack of common compositional language. Such styles and trends were connected both with the folklore-related romantic pathos, which served to express not in last place the pathos of the so-called “socialist realism” during the period of totalitarian rule in Bulgaria (1944–1989), and with vanguard trends in terms of compositional ideas and techniques (atonality, dodecaphony, serial and modal principles of developing the musical material, aleatory and sonoristics, polystylistics, collage, etc.), which reflected tendencies characteristic of the entire 20th century. The activities of the Union of Bulgarian Composers including premieres of hundreds of works by Bulgarian composers have substantially helped promote Bulgarian music. Since 1952 leading Bulgarian ensembles and performers have periodically appeared in concert with Bulgarian works in a variety of genres. The Fourth National Review of Bulgarian Music was particularly impressive. It was carried out in three consecutive years and was divided into four stages. The first two stages were held in Sofia and were devoted to traditional music arrangements and stage music works (1958). The third one concerned symphony and chamber music and took place in Plovdiv (1960), while the fourth one focused on vocal music (choral and mass songs; pop music) and was held again in Sofia (1961). In 1964 in Sofia started the Review of Works by Young Composers. Since 1974 the review of works by Bulgarian composers has turned to be an annual forum. Named New Bulgarian Music, more than three decades it has been concentrating the Bulgarian composers’ production. (The review of works by young Bulgarian composers called Young Bulgarian Music had been organised on a biennial basis until 1990. After 1990 the Cabinet of the Young Composer, which had existed within the Union of Bulgarian Composers, stopped operating, too. Its members had included young composers and musicologists.) Governmental and cultural institutions funded the activities of the Union of Bulgarian Composers until the end of the 1980s. Commissions on certain occasions also stimulated the creative process. The Union of Bulgarian Composers published lots of music scores and sheet music. The Bulgarian recording company Balkanton released a series of LPs including works by Bulgarian composers. Substantial part of the production was broadcast by the Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television. The Bulgarian contemporary music marked the public domain and was subject to thorough discussions reflected on the pages of the Union of Bulgarian Composers’ publication, the monthly magazine Bulgarian Music. The magazine was first called Music and started being published in 1948 by the Bulgarian Philharmonic Orchestra Directorate. After a brief interruption, since 1950 it was issued ten times a year except for the year 1953 when it was issued six times. In 1953 it was renamed Bulgarian Music. In 1955 it became the publication of the Union of Bulgarian Composers and the Ministry of Culture. It was last issued in 1990. The first editorial team was chaired by Lubomir Pipkov, later editor-in-chief was Venelin Krastev (1951–1952), Georgi Dimitrov(1953–1954), Stoyan Stoyanov-Ivanov (1956–1964) and Dimitar Zenginov (since 1964). The magazine is a unique chronicle of contemporary Bulgarian music history revealing complex processes and intellectual and spiritual trends, their long-lasting or ephemeral character. The polyphony of ideas and expression means, which reflected the composers’ involvement in the culture of contemporary Bulgarian music life and the world trends in music, is extremely important. A critical self-retrospection and theoretical musicological thinking constantly accompany the compositional process and is a source of a variety of approaches and evaluation criteria.
Various generations of composers are active at the beginning of the 21st century. Dozens of composers who work and live in Bulgaria or abroad strive to make contemporary Bulgarian music win recognition on the prestigious international stage. Each creative process when observed in depth reveals a variety of styles, trends and ideas, which fill its spiritual domain with multiple meanings and create its artistic value. Their personal artistic manifestations show diversity of styles and conceptions, which fill up the spiritual space with various meanings and define its art representativenes. The Union of Bulgarian Composers is a member of Balkan Music Information Network, European Composers Forum, European Conference of Promoters of New Music and International Society for Contemporary Music. Encyclopaedia of Bulgarian Composers is published in Bulgarian and English in 2003 as UBC edition. The present edition includes biographical details and a selected list of works of 262 Bulgarian composers connected with UBC’s history and present-day development.