The Union of Bulgarian Composers is a non-profit association founded in 1933.

The chairman of UBC since 2014 is Tsenko Minkin.

The main aims of UBC are “to provide comprehensive assistance for the development of the Bulgarian musical art in Bulgaria”, and to “popularize and promote the Bulgarian musical arts in the country and abroad”.

In this page you can get acquainted in detail with the history, governance, statute and membership terms of the UBC.

Here you will also find detailed information about UBC facilities – Concert hall “Philip Koutev”, Library of UBC, Bookstore “Bulgarian Composer”, recording studio and recreation properties.

Management of the Union of Bulgarian Composers

The General Assembly of UBC is the supreme body of the Union and includes the composer members. It is convened by the Managerial Board at least four times a year.

The General Assembly:

(a) elects a Chairpreson, Secretary-General, members of the Managing Board, Chairman and members of the Supervisory Board;
(b) accepts new members to the UBC and exclude from membership, except the members of the Musicologists Section;
c) accepts the statutes of the UBC and adopts resolutions on its amendment.
d) adopts the main guidelines, plans and programs for the activity of the Union of Bulgarian Composers and other internal documents of the Association;
(e) approves the annual financial plan of the Union of Bulgarian Composers and the report on its performance;
(f) determines the annual membership fee;
g) accepts the reports of the Managing Board and Supervisory Board;
h) establishes and award prizes for works and artists;
(i) considers and resolves the issues raised by the Managing Board, the Supervisory Board or individual members of the Union.

The Managing Board of of the Union of Bulgarian Composers consists of a Chairpreson, Secretary-General, a Chairpeson of the Section “Musicologists” and four members composers The term of office of the members of the MB of UBC is three years from their election.

Members of the Managing Board with Mandate 2017 – 2020: Tsenko Minkin – Chairpeson, Vladimir Dzhambazov – Secretary-General, Stefan Iliev, Yanko Miladinov, Dora Draganova and Dimitar Hristov – Members of the Managing Board and Prof. D.A. Elisaveta Valchinova-Chandova – Chairpeson of the Musicologists section.

The Supervisory Board consists of a chairman and two members elected by the General Assembly of UBC for three years.

Membership of the CC with the term of office 2017 – 2020: Prof. Dr. Zhorzh Bonev – Chairman, Yuli Damyanov and Svetoslav Karagenov – members of the SB.

The admission of new composer members to the UBC is carried out through a competition, which is held under the following regulations:

1. The competition shall be held once a year and shall be announced three months in advance.

2. Applicants shall submit the following documents:

– Application for admission;
– Creative Autobiography;
– Diploma (copy) of music education;
– Own works, written on paper and/or electronic media;
– Written recommendations from two members of the UBC.

3. The General Assembly may accept without a diploma of music education candidates whose work is of proven social significance.

4. The Board of Directors of the UBC shall take note of the proposed works and report its opinion on them to the General Assembly.

5. The General Assembly listens to the presented works (or part of them) and expresses its opinion by secret ballot.

6. Candidates are accepted who have received the approval of at least 75% of the members of the SBC present at the General Assembly.


Section I


Name, aims, objectives

Art.1. The Union of Bulgarian Composers (UBC) is a non-profit association – a legal entity with its registered office and management address in the town of. Its registered office and registered office is located in Sofia, ul. “Ivan Vazov” № 2.

The UBC is an organization operating for private benefit within the meaning of the Law on Nonprofit Organizations.

Art.2. The main objectives of the UBC are:

a) to provide all-round assistance for the development of the creative art of music in Bulgaria;

b) promotion and propaganda in the country and in the world of the Bulgarian musical art.

Art.3. In pursuit of its main objectives, the UBC:

a) support the Bulgarian music creative art by providing repurchases, contracts, competitions, creative missions, discussions, debates, research, reviewing, etc.;

b) create a base for printing and distribution of the works of Bulgarian composers;

(c) organise performances of musical works by its members;

d) participate in musical events of national and international scale, either independently or jointly with other organisations;

e) carry out international activities by maintaining contacts with related organizations from other countries, musical associations, companies and individuals abroad, receiving foreign composers and members of similar organizations, as well as sending for qualification, creative missions, exchange of experience, concerts, lectures, etc. its members;

(f) assist its members in meeting their social and recreational needs with a view to providing adequate facilities for creativity and recreation;

g) nurture the growth and development of young talent;

(h) assist in the protection of the copyright of its members, and provide social and legal support to Union members and their families.

(i) carry out additional business activities to secure the means to achieve the objectives – renting of own property, publishing, advertising, participation in joint activities with other business entities, organizing and conducting paid concerts, tours and other artistic events, as well as any other business activity not prohibited by law.

Section II


Art.4. Members of the UBC are Bulgarian citizens who have reached the age of majority, who are composers of outstanding creative development and who accept and abide by the UBC Statutes. Once a year the Board reports to the GA on the movement of members of the UBC – new members, deceased, resigned and expelled.

Art.5. The members of the section “Musicologists”, which is a separate subdivision of the UBC, are Bulgarian citizens who have reached the age of majority and who are musicologists (musicologists) with an outstanding creative development in the study of Bulgarian music and Bulgarian music creative art.

Art.6. Members of the UBC who are composers have the following rights:

a) to participate in the General Assembly of the UBC and to vote on all resolutions put to the vote and proposed for adoption;

(b) to elect and be elected to the bodies of the UBC;

(c) to be regularly informed of the activities of the Union bodies;

(d) to request a report on the implementation of decisions taken and the results thereof;

e) to participate in creative discussions, debates, meetings and other forums organized by the UBC;

f) to discuss and criticize, express their opinion and make proposals on all matters of the Union’s activities;

g) to address questions, suggestions and personal requests to all union bodies and to receive a response and decision thereon;

h) to use the printing facilities, the library, the phonotheque, the studio, the concert hall and other services and facilities of the Union in accordance with the terms and conditions determined by a decision of the Board of Directors, as well as the creative homes and facilities of the Union;

(i) receive moral and material rewards and prizes for significant creative achievements;

Art.7. Members of the Musicologists Section of the UBC have the following rights:

(a) to participate in the Section’s independent meeting and to discuss and vote on all resolutions put to the floor and proposed for adoption;

b) to elect and be elected to the Section Leadership;

c) to use a room in the building of the UBC with telephone, heating and lighting, to use the services of the UBC administration, to use the library, hall, reproduction equipment owned by the UBC;

d) to use the creative homes of the UBC, the social privileges of the UBC;

(e) receive funding for their creative work;

f) to be sent on artistic missions, to participate in the artistic events of the section, as well as in its juries and committees;

g) receive awards from the Section for significant creative achievements;

Art.8 a. Members of the UBC who are composers have the following obligations: a) to abide by the UBC Statutes;

(b) participate regularly in the organs of the UBC when elected to them;

(c) participate regularly in the General Assembly of the UBC;

d) pay their membership fee to the UBC;

(e) observe moral and ethical relationships.

Art.8 b. Members of the Musicologists Section of the UBC have duties:

a) to work on the problems of Bulgarian musical creativity;

b) to support the work of Bulgarian composers;

(c) pay their membership fee;

(d) abide by the Statutes of the UBC;

(e) observe moral and ethical relationships.

Art.8 c. Membership shall be terminated:

(a) on the death or the placement under full disability of the member;

b) by unilateral declaration to the association;

c) in case of exclusion from the GA of the UBC for composers;

(d) in the case of exclusion from the meeting of the Musicology Section for musicologists;

e) in case of cancellation due to non-payment of the membership fee determined by the General Assembly.

Art.8 d. (I) The expulsion of members of the UBC according to the procedure of Art.11 letter “b” in connection with Art.14 letter “a” is allowed for acts incompatible with morality, undermining the authority of the UBC, contradicting the statutes, as well as systematic non-participation in the activities of the UBC. In such cases, for acts that do not constitute particularly serious cases, the penalty may be a reprimand, deprivation of the use of the creative houses of the UBC, removal from a meeting of the GA and participation in the governing bodies of the UBC.

(II) Dismissal for non-payment of dues shall occur upon non-payment for two years.

The Management Board shall send a warning letter with the prescribed procedure for termination of the exclusion procedure. Failure to do so shall result in exclusion.

Section III

Organ of the UBC (structure)

Article 9 (1) The governing bodies for the management of the UBC shall be:

a) The General Assembly of the UBC, which is the supreme body of the union and includes the composer members;

(b) Board.

(c) Board of Control.

(2) The structure of the Musicologists Section of the UBC shall consist of:

(a) A meeting of the section, which includes the musicologist members. Each person is entitled to one vote and no proxy voting is allowed;

b) Section leadership.

Article 10 (1) The General Assembly shall consist of the members referred to in Article 4 of these Statutes. It shall be convened by the Board of the UBC at least twice a year. The General Meeting shall be convened by the Management Board on the decision of the General Assembly , on its own initiative or at the request of one third of the members referred to in Article 4 of these Statutes. If in the latter case the Management Board fails to convene the General Assembly, it shall be convened by the court in accordance with the procedure set forth in Article 26(1)(2) of the UILNC Act.

(2) The convocation of the General Meeting shall be made by emails or written invitation, which shall contain the agenda, date, time and place of the meeting in the locality where the registered office of the company is located, as well as on whose initiative the meeting is convened. No decisions may be taken by the General Assembly on matters not included in the agenda announced in the invitation. The invitation shall not be published in the Official Gazette.

(3) A General Meeting shall be deemed lawful if more than half of its members are present. If the requisite number fails to appear, the meeting shall be adjourned for one hour later on the same agenda and shall be deemed lawful however many members appear.

Art.11. The General Assembly:

a) elect the President, Secretary General, members of the Board, Chairperson and members of the CC;

b) admit new members to the UBC and expel from membership, except those in the Musicologists Section;

(c) adopt the statutes of the UBC and adopt decisions amending and supplementing them. When matters relating to the status of the Musicologists’ Section and its members are discussed and decided, it shall only be on the proposal of the meeting of that Section;

(d) terminate and extend the term of office of the Management Board and the CC. The Musicologists Section is decided by the GA of the section.

(e) adopt the basic guidelines, plans and programmes for the activities of the UBC and other internal acts of the Association;

(f) approve the annual financial plan of the UBC and the report on its implementation;

(g) determine the annual membership fee;

h) adopt the reports of the MB and the CC;

(i) establish and award prizes to works and artists;

j) discuss and decide on the issues raised by the Board, the CC or its individual members;

Art.12(1) The General Assembly of the UBC shall adopt decisions by a majority of the votes of those present, each member of the General Assembly having one vote.

(2) A qualified majority of two-thirds of those present shall be required to amend the statutes or to adopt new statutes.

(3) An absolute majority vote or signatures of the members of the UBC shall be required to dissolve, split, or merge the union with another.

(4) Voting in the GA shall be open, unless the assembly itself decides that voting shall be by secret ballot. Voting is personal and may not be exercised by proxy.

(5) A member of the General Assembly of the UBC shall not have the right to vote on matters concerning himself, his spouse or relatives in the direct line – without limitation, in the consanguineous line – up to the fourth degree or in the consanguineous line – up to the second degree inclusive, as well as legal entities in which he is a manager or can impose or impede decision-making.

(6) Minutes shall be taken of the meetings of the General Assembly and shall be signed by the presiding officer and the secretary-recorder, and an audio/video recording shall be made and kept in the archives of the UBC.

Minutes shall be prepared within seven days of the day of the meeting.

Art.13(1) The Board of the UBC shall consist of:

(a) The Chair;

(b) the Secretary-General;

c) Chair of the Musicology Section;

d) four composers.

(2) The term of office of the members of the Board of the UBC shall be three years from the date of their election as provided for in these Statutes.

Election for a maximum of two consecutive terms is allowed.

An incomplete mandate does not count as a mandate.

(3) The Board shall meet at least once a month. It shall be convened by the President, who shall chair its meetings. The dates of the next meeting may be set by the Board itself at a previous regular meeting.

(4) The Chairman shall be obliged to convene a meeting of the Board also upon written request of one third of its members. If the Chair fails to convene the meeting within a week, it may be convened by any interested Board member.

(5) In the absence of the Chairperson, the meeting shall be chaired by another member of the Management Board previously appointed by the Chairperson.

(6) The meetings shall be regular and the Board may take decisions if more than half of its members are present. A member of the Management Board with whom there is a two-way telephone connection ensuring his/her identity and allowing his/her participation in the discussion and decision-making shall also be considered present. The vote of this member of the Board shall be certified in the minutes by the chairman of the meeting.

(7) The decisions of the Board of the UBC shall be adopted by a majority of those present.

(8) Decisions on:

a) executive actions for liquidation, if this is decided by the General Assembly of the UBC;

b) actions for the disposal of the property of the association, if a decision to this effect is adopted by the General Assembly of the UBC;

(c) the procedure and organisation of the activities of the association.

(9) Minutes shall be kept of the meetings of the Board of Directors of the UBC and shall be signed by all participants who voted at the meeting. The Board of the UBC may take a decision without holding an attendance meeting if the minutes of the decision are signed without remarks or objections by all its members.

(10) A member of the Board of Directors of the UBC shall have no vote in matters concerning himself, his spouse or relatives in the line of descent – without limitation, in the line of consanguinity – up to the fourth degree or in the line of affinity – up to the second degree inclusive, and also legal entities in which he is a manager or can impose or impede decision-making.

Art.14. The Board:

(a) propose to the GA the admission and exclusion from membership;

b) prepare and submit for adoption by the General Assembly draft financial plans, reports, programmes and other proposals on matters within the competence of the General Assembly, in accordance with the Law and these Statutes;

(c) address and resolve social problems of the members of the UBC;

(d) decide on all matters relating to the day-to-day business of the UBC which are not within the competence of other bodies of the Union;

(e) ensure the implementation of the decisions of the General Assembly;

(f) exercise day-to-day control over the representation of the UBC by the President of the WBC in accordance with Article 15(1)(a) of the Constitution;

g) determine the address of the association and perform all other rights and duties assigned to it by law and these Statutes.

Art.15(1) The President of the UBC shall:

a) represent the UBC before all state, regional, municipal, public organizations, legal entities and individuals;

(b) manage and be responsible for the day-to-day activities of the UBC;

(c) convene and chair the meetings of the Board;

d) for individual issues on the agenda of the meetings of the General Assembly and the Board of Directors has the right to invite other members of the UBC or persons competent on the issues discussed;

(e) with the Accountant General, manage the bank accounts of the UBC, process the payment and accounting documents;

(f) approve and amend the staffing table for employees of the UBC, the revenue and expenditure accounts for individual events and activities;

(g) ensure the practical implementation of the decisions of the Management Board;

(h) conclude and terminate employment contracts with employees of the UBC;

(i) perform any other duties assigned to it by decisions of the General Assembly of the UBC or of the Board;

(2) The President may authorize a member of the Board of the UBC to perform the functions provided for in paragraph (1) on his behalf for a specified period.

Art. 16(1) Secretary General:

(a) assist the President in his/her activities for the implementation of the decisions of the General Assembly and the Board of the UBC in the functions attributed to him/her by the Statutes as well as in the relevant activities;

(b) supervise and be responsible for the work of the administration of the UBC;

(c) organise and ensure contacts with state, municipal, administrative, public and other bodies and subdivisions;

(d) be responsible for and ensure the practical implementation of the creative activities of the UBC;

(e) organise and monitor the use of the movable and immovable property of the UBC;

Art.17. The Supervisory Board shall consist of a Chairperson and two members elected by the General Assembly of the UBC for a period of three years. The CC carries out checks on the activities of the Board of Directors, the staff apparatus of the UBC, as well as monitors the implementation of the financial plan, the management of property and the expenditure of funds. The CC prepares reports on its activities, which it reports to the General Assembly of the UBC.

Art.18. The Assembly of the Musicologists Section of the UBC:

a) adopt proposals to the General Assembly of the UBC for amendments and additions to the Statutes of the UBC concerning the status and membership of the Section;

b) exclude members from the Musicologists Section;

c) elect a chairman of the Musicologists Section, who is also a member of the Board of the UBC;

(d) elect the other members of the Section leadership;

(e) determine the annual membership fee payable by musicologists;

(f) adopt plans and programmes for the activities of the Section;

g) propose to the Board that part of the annual financial plan which concerns the activities of the Section. The Board submits it to the General Assembly for consideration as part of the overall draft budget;

(h) receive reports on the work of the Section leadership;

(i) consider and decide on matters submitted to it by the UBC Board, the Section leadership or individual members;

Article 19(1) The meeting of the Musicologists Section shall be convened by the leadership of the Section in regular session once every six months.

If necessary, it may be convened earlier at the discretion of management.

(2) All minutes and documents of the proceedings of the General Assembly of the Section of Musicologists and its bodies shall form part of the general records of the UBC and shall be kept with it.

Art.20(1) The leadership of the Musicologists Section of the UBC shall consist of:

a) Chair of the Section; member of the Board of the UBC;

(b) the secretary of the section;

(c) one member;

(2) Article 14(2) of the Constitution shall apply to the term and number of terms of office of the members of the leadership of the Section and Article 14(3) of the Constitution shall apply to the meetings.

(3) The leadership of the section:

(a) propose to the Section meeting the admission or dismissal of members to the Section;

(b) prepare and submit for adoption by the Section Assembly draft plans, programmes and other documents for the activities of the Section;

(c) decide all other matters concerning the day-to-day activities of the Musicologists’ Section not vested in other bodies of the Union.

Art.21(1) The Chairman of the Musicologists Section of the UBC shall:

(a) convene and chair meetings of the Section leadership;

(b) manage and be responsible for the day-to-day activities of the Section within the UBC;

(c) ensure the practical implementation of the decisions of the sectional assembly;

(d) perform any other duties assigned to him by the Section Assembly or its leadership;

e) participate in the meetings of the Board of the UBC.

(2) The Chairperson of the Musicology Section shall be assisted in his/her activities by the Secretary of the Section, and in the event of absence or other reason for which he/she is unable to perform his/her functions on a prolonged or permanent basis, he/she shall be fully replaced by him/her.

Section IV


Art.22. UBC owns property, which includes ownership and other property rights in real estate and movable property, bank accounts, securities, receivables and cash.

Art.23. The source of funds for UBC are:

(a) a membership fee determined in accordance with the rules of these Statutes;

(b) income from the management of the properties, as well as proceeds from rentals of leased properties of the UBC;

(c) sponsors or earmarked funds provided by third parties for the implementation of certain events or activities;

(d) income from participation in international projects and cultural funding programmes;

(e) income from paid events, advertising and propaganda;

(f) donations, legacies and other gratuitous receipts;

(g) interest on bank accounts;

(h) income from ancillary economic activities (publishing, pre-press, distribution of printed publications and manuals, sound and video recordings, organisation and conduct of seminars, concerts, festival events, music reviews, artistic tours).

Art.24. The UBC shall take care to preserve and increase its assets in order to create favourable conditions for the creative work and recreation of its members. For this purpose, creative bases are organized, which are managed by the UBC independently or in partnership with other organizations, companies and individuals.

Art. 25. Acts of disposal of the property of the UBC, other than in cases of ongoing maintenance, shall only be carried out by resolution of the General Assembly with 3/4 of the members.

Art.26 Under no circumstances shall the property of the UBC be distributed among union members, their heirs authorized by them or outside persons;

Section V


Art.27. The Union of Bulgarian Composers – Sofia has a round seal with the inscription “Union of Bulgarian Composers – Sofia” and its emblem (stamp).

Art.28. UBC members who live and work outside the city of Sofia may organize themselves into union groups. Their activities shall be carried out within the framework of the present Statutes and in accordance with the procedure established by the General Assembly of the UBC.

Art.29. The UBC may publish its own printed organ, a newspaper or magazine, and issue information or propaganda materials. A special resolution of the General Assembly of the UBC shall be adopted for the publication and organization of the printed organ.

Section VI


Art.30. These Statutes have been adopted by a Governing Board composed of:

Chairman: Tsenko Minkin

chap. Secretary: Vladimir Dzhambazov

members: Dora Draganova

Dimitar Hristov

Prof. D.A. Elisaveta Valcinova-Chandova


Chairman: Prof. Dr. George Bonev

Yuli Damyanov, Svetoslav Karagenov

Art.31. This constitution was approved by the General Assembly of the UBC held on 8 June 2019.

Premises of the Union of Bulgarian Composers

The Library of the UBC was established in the 1950s and has more than 26,000 library units. The rich fund with nude material includes valuable original publications, printed publications and photocopies of works by both Bulgarian and foreign composers.

Also important are the books on the history of music (Bulgarian and foreign), biographical and autobiographical literature, theory of music and musical aesthetics.

The library has a rich archive of photographs of Bulgarian composers and various musical events that have taken place over the years.

Today, the library continues to fill its fund with materials from modern Bulgarian and foreign music, music studies in the field of music, books, notes and photographs.

The library is open for visits every day (from Monday to Friday) from 10.00 to 16.00 for members of the Union and from 13.30 to 16.00 for external visitors.

The Concert Hall “Philip Koutev” is located on 4-th floor in the main building of the Union of Bulgarian Composers on 2 Ivan Vazov Str. in Sofia.

The hall has 150 seats and is suitable for organizing concerts, meetings, premieres and other events.

The foyer in front of the Concert hall is spacious, bright and extremely suitable for cocktails and meetings.

The sound recording studio in the UBC’s main building has professional computer equipment and original sound recording programs.

Optionally, we provide competent specialists to assist in making a sound recording.

The bookstore “Bulgarian Composer” was opened on December 15, 1961. Today it is the only place in Sofia and in Bulgaria, which has been preserved the same since its creation.

The bookstore offers a wide range of audio books, notes, scores and musical literature in the field of classical, orthodox, folklore, entertainment and children’s music, numerous books and textbooks on musical themes.

The main place in the bookstore take the work of the Bulgarian composers and musicians – from the classics to the contemporary artists.

Bulgarian Composer Bookshop is open every working day from 10.00 – 18.00, Saturdays from 10.00 – 16.00.

The property of UBC in Bulgarian town Balchik is located in the coastal part of the town and is built in the style and architectural features of the Balchik Palace.

The estate is a cultural and architectural monument of local importance and at present is undergoing complete restoration and renovation.

The property of UBC in Vitosha mountain, nearby Sofia, consists of two houses and one bungalow.

The base is currently undergoing a major renovation, after which it will be available for year-round use.

The property of UBC in the seaside town of Chernomorets is located in close proximity to the beach and consists of two houses with a common yard.

The rooms and apartments in the houses are fully refurbished, furnished, with private bathrooms and small kitchens.

The property can be used all year round, with prior reservation in the administration of the UBC.

History of the Union of Bulgarian Composers

The history of the Union of Bulgarian Composers is connected with the foundation of the Contemporary Music Society on 24 January 1933 . The founding members are the great Bulgarian musicians Pancho Vladigerov, Petko Stainov, Dimitar Nenov, Veselin Stoyanov, Andrei Stoyanov, Lyubomir Pipkov, Asen Dimitrov and Tsanko Tsankov. Gathered in the House of Arts and Press in Sofia, under the chairmanship of Andrei Stoyanov, they drafted the Statutes and elected the leadership of the Society: the Board of Directors with Petko Stainov as chairman, Pancho Vladigerov as vice-chairman, and Dimitar Nenov as secretary and treasurer; the Control Council with Assen Dimitrov as chairman, and Lyubomir Pipkov and Veselin Stoyanov as members. The founding minutes were approved by the Ministry of the Interior on February 6, 1933, by Instruction No. 1317. Later they were joined by the composers Filip Kutev, Svetoslav Obretenov, Marin Goleminov, Assen Karastoyanov, Parashkev Khadzhiev, Georgi Dimitrov, Georgi Zlatev-Cherkin and others. In this composition the Society continued its activity until 1944.

The purpose of the Society is set out in its Constitution in 6 points:
a/ To work for the creation of greater interest in Bulgarian art music in the country and abroad, to watch over the proper development of Bulgarian musical life and to promote a higher musical culture in Bulgaria.
b/ To encourage composers to use folk music by recreating it in artistic forms.
c/ To work for greater cohesion between composers.
d/ To work for the creation of more favourable conditions for composers’ work.
e/ To assist poor and needy composers.
f/ To work to perpetuate the memory of deserving composers.


Historically, the beginnings of Bulgarian professional composing are associated with the works of the first masters: Emanuil Manolov (author of the first Bulgarian opera “Orphan Girl”, 1900), Panayot Pipkov, Dimitar Hadjigeorgiev, Angel Bukorestshliev, Petko Naumov, Alexander Krastev and others. The figures of Dobri Hristov (besides being a composer, he was also a teacher, conductor, folklorist and theorist, publicist, music public figure), Georgi Atanasov-Maestro (the first prominent Bulgarian opera composer and conductor), Nikola Atanasov (author of the first Bulgarian symphony, 1912) stand out.

The members of Contemporary Music – the composers of the so-called second generation respect the work of their predecessors, but they are also aware of their new important mission, inscribing Bulgarian music and musical culture in the context of the European 20th century. Having completed their musical education in prestigious European centres such as Dresden (Petko Stainov, Dimitar Nenov), Berlin (Pancho Vladigerov), Vienna (Veselin Stoyanov and Andrei Stoyanov), Paris (Lyubomir Pipkov and Marin Goleminov), Prague (Assen Dimitrov), they actively participate in various spheres of musical life. Besides authors of music, they are teachers, performers, public figures. They are the personalities who, with their authority and individual creative quests and achievements, shape the future generations of musicians and thus the character of Bulgarian music and Bulgarian musical culture. With their works in all musical genres they brought the Bulgarian school of composition to a contemporary European level and formed the “Bulgarian national musical style”. For them, the idea of the national is a spiritual and intellectual aspiration that unites them and at the same time gives them the freedom for authorial interpretation and realization of different compositional approaches.

Many of them are today rightly described as classical composers, and works such as the Bulgarian Rhapsody “Vardar” by Pancho Vladigerov (1922, 1928 orchestral version), the symphonic suites “Thracian Dances” (1925) by Petko Stainov and “Bai Ganyo” (1941) by Veselin Stoyanov, the symphonic poems “Thrace” (1937) by Petko Stainov and “German” (1940) by) by Filip Kutev, Rhapsodic Fantasia (1938-1940) by Dimitar Nenov, the dance drama Nestinarka (1940) by Marin Goleminov, the opera Yanine’s Nine Brothers (1929-1932) by Lyubomir Pipkov and many others are emblematic for Bulgarian culture.

The works of the composers of the so-called second generation are included in the repertoire of the Sofia National Opera, the Academic Symphony Orchestra (founded in 1928 on the initiative of the great Bulgarian musician Sasha Popov), the Symphony Orchestra formed in 1936. The Royal Military Symphony Orchestra (the forerunner of the Sofia State Philharmonic Orchestra), in which, again under the baton of Sasha Popov, some of the greatest Bulgarian instrumentalists played and developed as professionals. The ensemble had an active concert activity in Sofia and other cities of the country, touring in Italy (1939) and in Romania, Hungary and Croatia (1942). Pancho Vladigerov specially wrote his famous “Horo staccato” (Diniku-Vladigerov) for his visit to Romania. This work, as well as “Thracian Dances” by Petko Stainov, were a huge success.

The performance of Bulgarian music is a matter of prestige and of affirming contemporary cultural and spiritual belonging. It is no coincidence that at the opening of the Bulgaria Concert Hall in 1937, under the conductorship of Tsanko Tsankov, the Third Concerto for Piano and Orchestra by Pancho Vladigerov and the Solemn Finale of the Concert Overture Balkan by Petko Stainov, together with Handel’s oratorio Messiah, were heard for the first time. Among the most representative performances of the Society, such as concerts in Sofia and in the country, in the halls of the Music Academy, the Military Club, BIAD, Bulgaria Hall, the Sofia Metropolitan’s Hall, etc., are the systematically held concerts “One Hour of Bulgarian Music”. A number of Bulgarian works are performed for the first time. In March 1937 the Society organized a symphony concert of six Bulgarian composers in Belgrade – V. Stoyanov, P. Staynov, D. Nenov, P. Vladigerov, L. Pipkov and C. Tsankov.

In spite of the political changes after 1944 and the establishment of the new socialist regime of government, the members of the Society and their younger colleagues defended the need for the existence of an artistic organization. In 1944 the Young Composers’ Collective was formed, and in 1945 the “Union of Composers and Musicians” in Bulgaria with sections: composers, artists, “music writers” and teachers. Its chairman is Lyubomir Pipkov, vice-chairman Andrey Stoyanov and secretary – musicologist Ivan Kamburov. On February 12, 1947, the “Society of Bulgarian Composers and Musicologists” was founded, which institutionally continued the activities of the Society of Bulgarian Composers “Contemporary Music” and its ideas for the existence of a public professional organization that unites and protects musical artists and promotes Bulgarian music in Bulgaria and abroad.

On 17 March of the same year it was renamed “Union of Composers, Musicologists and Concert Artists” with headquarters in Sofia. From 1954 it was established only as “Union of Composers and Musicologists” and took the name “Union of Bulgarian Composers” (UBC).

Its chairmen were successively Lyubomir Pipkov (1947-1954), Filip Kutev (1954-1972), Dimitar Petkov (1972-1980), Alexander Raychev (1980-1990), and Alexander K.), Parashkev Hadzhiev (1990-1992), Lazar Nikolov (1992-1999), Viktor Chuchkov (1999-2005), Velilav Zaimov (2005-2011), Peter Lundev (2011-2014), Tsenko Minkin (since 2014). Political events after 1989 and internal artistic and creative tensions led to changes in the structure of the SBC. As an artistic association, in 2006 it united over 160 composers – representatives of different age groups, genres and styles in music. After 1994, it formed an independent section “Musicologists” with Honorary Chairman, Hon. Elena Stoin (born in 1915) – the doyen of folklore science in Bulgaria, which includes over 76 musicologists researching Bulgarian compositional works, traditional folklore, musical medievalism, contemporary ethnomusicological phenomena, music and modern technologies, etc. The chairmen of the section are. Prof. Elena Toncheva (1994-1999), Prof. Dr. Dr. Izk. Елисавета Вълчинова-Чендова (1999–2005 г.), проф. д-р Веса Цинандова-Харалампиева (2005–2008 г.), проф. д. изк. Prof. Dr. Elizaveta Valchinova-Chandova (2008-2011), Prof. Dr. Yuliyan Kuyumdzhiev (since 2011).


In the decades after the Second World War, the coexistence of composers from different generations also determined the existence of different stylistic directions and currents, asserted in the individual composer’s handwriting. They are associated both with the folk-romantic pathos, which in the period of totalitarian rule (1944-1989) also expressed the pathos of the so-called. Socialist realism, as well as with formulations such as avant-garde in terms of ideas and means of expression used (atonalism, dodecaphony, serial and modal principles of construction of musical material, aleatoric and sonoristic, polystylistic, collage, etc.), in which tendencies characteristic of the entire twentieth century are layered. Important for the propaganda of Bulgarian music are the performances of the SBC, stimulating the premiere of hundreds of works. Since 1952, leading ensembles and performers have periodically presented works in various genres. Particularly impressive is the Fourth National Review of Bulgarian Music, which is held for three years in four stages: the first and second stages are in Sofia and are devoted respectively to folklore treatments and musical-stage works (1958), the third – on symphonic and chamber music, is in Plovdiv (1960), the fourth – on song creativity (choral and mass songs, entertainment and pop music), is again in Sofia (1961). In 1964, for the first time, a Review of the Work of Young Bulgarian Composers was organized in Sofia. Since 1974, the review of Bulgarian composers’ work has been an annual event, named “New Bulgarian Music”, and has focused the authors’ expression for more than three decades. The review of the work of young Bulgarian composers was called “Young Bulgarian Music” and until 1990 was held regularly every two years. Until then, the Young Composer’s Cabinet existed in the UBC, with young composers and musicologists as members. Until the late 1980s, the performances of the UBC were widely supported by state and cultural institutions. The creative process is also stimulated by contracting on certain occasions. Dozens of sheet music publications are published in the Union’s print library. “Balkanton publishes a series of gramophone records with works by Bulgarian composers. Most of the production was recorded at the Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television. Actively present in the public sphere, new Bulgarian music also provokes heated discussions in the UBC, which find space in the pages of its organ, the monthly magazine Bulgarian Music. Its first anniversary was in 1948-1949 under the name “Music” as a publication of the Directorate of the Bulgarian Philharmonic. After a hiatus, since 1950 the magazine has been published regularly in 10 volumes (the exception being its sixth anniversary, when it was published in 6 volumes). In 1953 it was renamed Bulgarian Music. In 1955 it was established as an organ of the SBC and the Ministry of Education and Culture, later the Ministry of Culture. Its last anniversary was in 1990. The first editorial board was headed by Lyubomir Pipkov, and later editors-in-chief were Venelin Krastev (1951-1952), Georgi Dimitrov (1953-1954), Stoyan Stoyanov-Ivanov (1956-1964), Dimitar Zenginov (from 1964). The Officioso is a unique chronicle of the history of contemporary Bulgarian music and musical culture, revealing complex processes and meaningful supports, their persistence or variability over the decades. Particularly important is the composer’s self-expression, the polyphony of voices, which with their different pathos declare their belonging to the culture of contemporary Bulgaria and world musical processes. Creative critical and theoretical musicological reflection accompanies the compositional process and in turn offers a multitude of approaches and evaluative criteria.

At the beginning of the twenty-first century different generations of composers were creatively active. There are dozens of names of artists living and working in Bulgaria or abroad who have contributed to the establishment of contemporary Bulgarian music and the prestigious international podium. Their individual artistic expressions reveal a variety of styles, directions and views that fill the spiritual space with multiple meanings and define its artistic representation. The UBC is a member of various international organisations: the Balkan Music Information Network, the European Composers Forum, the European Conference of Promoters of New Music and the International Society for Contemporary Music. In 2003 the Bulgarian and English edition of the Union of Bulgarian Composers Encyclopedia was published, which includes the biographies of 262 Bulgarian composers related to the history and present of the Union.