Angel Dobrev

composer, pedagogue

09.01.1957Yamna, Sofia district – Bulgaria

Angel Dobrev received his first gadulka lessons at the community center in the town of Etropole from Vasil Spiridonov, a member of the community center there. 1971-1976 studied at the National School of Folk Arts “Filip Kutev” in the town of Kotel, majoring in gadulka. In 1976-1978, he completed his military service in the Ensemble of the General Directorate of Construction Troops, where he sang in the “Sofia” choir and played the guidulka in the folk orchestra for the dance ensemble. 1978-1982 studied at the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Art in Plovdiv. Since 1982 plays in the folk music orchestra of the Bulgarian National Radio.

In 1985, Angel Dobrev recorded his first composition with the Folk Music Orchestra of the BNR. Since then, he has created more than 500 original works. He uses Bulgarian musical folklore as a creative base – he writes instrumental music, arrangements for a folk choir, accompaniments to songs from various folklore areas, chamber, symphonic and ethnic music, as well as music for brass bands. His compositional asset also includes music for non-standard compositions; for symphony orchestra, folk choir and two folk instruments; for brass quintet, for wind quartet; a piece for tuba and flute, music for the “Golden Blackbird” festival, for a large symphony orchestra, etc.
He founded the “Folk” instrumental group at the “Zornitsa” Student Ensemble, with which he traveled and gave concerts in France, Norway, Finland, Germany, Israel, Greece and Switzerland, etc.
Together with Asen Pavlov, they created the gadulka quartet “Ethnotics”, which became an integral part of the “Chinari” Ensemble.
In 2000, he participated in the international festival “March Music Days”, in the composition class of the German composer Paul Dietrich.
In 2001 he was invited (the only one from Bulgaria) to participate in an international ethno-project, where he played with musicians from Germany, India, Switzerland, Indonesia, China, Mongolia, Turkey and France.

In addition to being a gadular and composer at the National Academy of Music of the BNR, Angel Dobrev is also actively engaged in pedagogical activities. For twenty years, he taught children in the Children’s and Youth Ensemble “Izvorche” at the National Children’s Palace in Sofia to play the gadulka, while at the same time leading the children’s school orchestra. He prepared dozens of students for the specialized folklore schools in the town of Kotel and the village of Shiroka Laka. Long-time teacher of gadulka and conductor of the student folk orchestra at the Faculty of Educational Sciences and Arts at SU “St. Kliment Ohridski”. He is also a teacher at the National School of Arts “L. Pipkov” in Sofia – again by gadulka.

Participates in various seminars both in Bulgaria and abroad. Bulgarian folk music lovers from Australia, Japan, USA, Greece, Germany, Belgium, Israel, Norway, Portugal, Holland, England, etc. have benefited from his pedagogical experience.
He is the author of publications in the press related to the problems of Bulgarian folklore.
He is the author of three discs: “Voices of Bulgaria” part 1, “Zebrovitsa” and “Discover the beauty of Bulgarian folk music”, in which he participated as a performer, arranger, composer and producer. His music is included in a number of compilation discs, released both in Bulgaria and abroad.
Angel Dobrev is the author of the two books “Let’s Play the Gadulka” Part 1 and 2, which have been translated into English, as well as the collection “Folk Songs from Northern Bulgaria: 471 previously unpublished folk songs from the city of Etropole and the region “. He is also the author of the novel “Memory of Jonah”.
He is a member of the Union of Bulgarian Composers.
Doctor of Music Pedagogy at “St. Kliment Ohridski” University of Applied Sciences.
He is the winner of a number of awards. He was honored with the “Guardian of Tradition” award, presented to him by the Association for the Development of Arts and Crafts in Bulgaria. For his 60th anniversary, Angel Dobrev was awarded the “Golden Lyre”, presented to him by the Union of Music and Dance Actors in Bulgaria.


Website: Angel Dobrev


Pieces for voice, solo folk instrument and folk orchestra
Angel Dobrev has over 500 pieces recorded in the BNR and BNT funds, of which he is a soloist, author of the music and author of the arrangement.

Vocal works:
“Kalina Moma” performed by Eva Quartet;
“Hey muri calum Kalino” – ensemble song, performed by the choir “Vanya Moneva and ONM of the BNR;
“Go my mother, ask” – an ensemble song, performed by the singers of the ensemble “Trakiya” and ONM of the BNR;
“Vocaliza Bulgara” – choral play.

Chamber works:
“A Little Balkan Music” – piece for brass quartet;
„Kriva niva” – piece for wind quintet;
Piece for tuba and flute.

Works for symphony orchestra:
“Pictures from Thrace” – a symphonic picture based on motifs from the region of Thrace;
Concert piece “Dialogues” – piece for solo drum and symphony orchestra.

Pieces for brass band:
“Botevgrad Holiday Choir”;

Pieces for ethnic music;
“Malay Moma” performed by the group “Ethnotics”
“Follow me” performed by the group “Ethnotics”
“Zelnik” performed by the group “Ethnotics”
“Somewhere in the East” performed by the group “Ethnotics”
“Pinch of Salt” performed by the group “Ethnotics”

Plays written by the author for the “Golden Blackbird” festival:
“Yellow press” – text: Georgi Hristov, music: Angel Dobrev, performed by: Hristo Cheshmedjiev
“Renovation-mystical song” – music: Angel Dobrev, lyrics: Ivan Nenkov
“Warm care” – music: Angel Dobrev, text: Stanislav Marashki, singer: Vasil Popov
“Rhodope impression” – music: Angel Dobrev, singer: Vasil Popov
“Horo se vie, izviva” – singer: Hristo Cheshmedjiev, music: Angel Dobrev