Alexandar Morfov

Alexandar Morfov

13.01.1880 г. - 19.04.1934 г.

Plovdiv - Bulgaria

composer, singer, public figure

Alexander Morfov graduated from the Bulgarian Catholic College in Edirne where he studied Flute. In 1902 he graduated from the Military School in Sofia. He taught there (1904-22). He retired in 1922. He took part in the Balkan wars (1912-13) and in the First World War (1914-18). He was among the founding members of the Union of Bulgarian Popular Choirs.

He was one of the pioneers in the Bulgarian choral music and founder of the Bulgarian military choral song. Creative and versatile, he was violist and violoncellist, poet, publicist, painter, sculptor, woodcutter, carpenter and photographer. He created a new kind of flute manufactured by the Italian company Ramponi and a new instrument called Orphein with a timbre similar to the one of the viola and the violoncello. He composed over 40 military marches and patriotic songs; songs for male voices choir and mixed choir; solo songs with piano accompaniment; a liturgy. His songs “Damnyan horo vodi”, “Baba Minkovtza” and the ballad “Semeyni” are considered to be classic works in the Bulgarian choral tradition. He wrote the words for most of his songs as well as the libretto for the opera The Abandoned Mill by Maestro Georgi Atanasov.

Works

Selected choral works

Military marches:

We Will Win (1900); Farewell March (1904); Arrival March (1906); Beware, Bulgaria! (1913); Rise, Freedom Star (1923).

For mixed choir:

Macedonian Shepherd; Damnyan horo vodi (Damnyan Leads the Dance); Rasli tikvi (The Pumpkins Grow); Razboynitzi (Bandits); Baba Minkovtza (Grandma Minkovtza); Semeyni (Married People) – a ballad.

Four four-voiced men’s choir:

Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

Selected literature on him (in Bulgarian):

Krastev, Venelin. Alexander Morfov (Sofia, 1962); Morfov, Bogdan. “Is It an Eagle, Mother…” Biographical Novel about the Work of Alexander Morfov (Sofia, 1983).