Stefan Chapkanov

composer, musical folklorist, conductor, pedagogue, public figure

20.04.1938 - 18.11.2020Bourgas – Bulgaria

Prof. Dr. Stefan Chapkanov was born in Burgas. He graduated from the Bulgarian State Conservatory. He is the founder of the state ensemble for folk songs and dances “Strandja” in the city of Burgas and has been its chief artistic director and chief conductor for 43 years. Under his leadership, the ensemble performed over 6,000 concerts in the country and abroad, of which about 2,000 were original concerts.
As a composer, he created over 750 works – choral and solo songs, orchestral pieces, chamber and musical-stage works. He has released 10 solo compilations, LPs, CDs and audio cassettes.
As a folklorist, Prof. Dr. Stefan Chapkenov is the author of the scientific works “The phenomenon of Bulgarian folk singing. Problems of sound extraction” and “The musical folklore of Strandzha. Metrorhythmic, structural and modal features”, the latter being a complete panorama of musical folklore in Thrace.
Prof. Dr. Stefan Chapkanov is the recipient of honorary diplomas from festivals in France, India, USA and Austria. He was awarded first prize in international competitions in the city of Zakopane – Poland, the city of Bursa and the city of Yalova – Turkey. He popularized Bulgarian art in Europe, Asia and America.
In 1990, for his contribution to Bulgarian culture, and in 1997, for his achievements as leader of the “Strandja” ensemble, he was twice awarded the “Golden Lyre” award of the Union of Music and Dance Artists.
In 1998 and 2000, he received the title of honorary citizen of the cities of Malko Tarnovo and Burgas.
In 2001, he was awarded the “Great Crystal Lyre” for excellence in the field of folklore, and in 2005, the Union of Bulgarian Composers awarded him the “Golden Quintet” prize for an author’s song, and in 2013, personally from the Minister of culture was awarded the “Golden Nestinarka” National Award for excellence in the field of folklore.


Choral songs for women’s choir – Shepherd’s song, Goro, tevna goro, Rade le, Pukni se trene, Haide devoiko da idem, Pii moche vino, Sedenkarska, Lazarska, Pripyavka, Kolko sa male.

Songs for mixed choir – Song for Captain Petko Voivoda, Hubava si moya goro, Pustata mu Ginka, Yasen mesets, Bulgarian head raised, Mete moma dvorove, Doshtero moya maichina.

Songs for choir and orchestra – Ya snoshti hodi male le, Sevdano, Marinchice, Kakvo se le belee, Doshlo e moche daskalche, Ti li be Georgi, Yano, byala Yano.

Solo songs – Todoro, Todoro, Slanchitse milo mamino, Zlatko le zlatna yabalka, Atanas sabira tragnuva, Dobra v gradinka sedeshe, Dokaral mi e Dimitar, Beri mi male grehove, Trugnal mi Georgi.

Orchestral pieces – Strandzhan suite, piece for tambourine and orchestra, Piece for kaval and orchestra, Song and old chorus, Thracian suite, Water chorus, Phakia suite, Malkotarnovsko horo, Erkechka suite.

Songs with piano accompaniment – Sgadali sa se sgadali, Barza li Ivan, Otdolu ide, Mome Dragano, Shtero Irino, Mande le, Ya kaji kaji Kalino.

Musical and scenic works – Sakar, Hasiiski dances, Belomorsi dances, Shopi, dances from south-eastern Bulgaria, Nestinarka – co-author Hristo Todorov, Pre-wedding songs and dances from Gerlovo, Northern dances from Vidinsko.