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

The chairman of UBC since 2014 is  Maestro Tsenko Minkin.

The main aims of the Union of Bulgarian Composers 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”.

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

You will also find detailed information about the properties of the Union of Bulgarian Composers like The Concert hall “Philip Koutev”, Library of UBC, Bookstore “Bulgarian composer”, recording studio and recreation properties.

Governance of UBC

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 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, Acad. Georgi Minchev, Prof. Georgi Kostov, Dora Draganova and Dimitar Hristov – Members of the Managing Board and Prof. Dr. Elisaveta Valchinova-Chendova – 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.

Members of the Supervisory Board with mandate 2017 – 2020: Prof. Dr. George Bonev – Chairman, Yuli Damianov and Svetoslav Karagenov – members of the SB.

Premises of UBC

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.

Bookstore “Bulgarian Composer” is open every day, except Sunday, from 10.00 to 18.00, Saturday from 10.00 to 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.

A major overhaul is underway, after which the property will be available all year round.

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 UBC

The history of the Union of Bulgarian Composers is connected with the foundation of the Contemporary Music Society on 24 January 1933 by the eminent Bulgarian musicians Pancho Vladigerov, Petko Staynov, Dimitar Nenov, Vesselin Stoyanov, Andrey Stoyanov, Lubomir Pipkov, Assen Dimitrov and Tzanko Tzankov.

After 1944 in spite of the new communist order, the members of the Contemporary Music Society and their younger colleagues stood up for their right to have a creative association. The Young Composers’ Association was founded in 1944; followed by the founding the next year of the Union of Bulgarian Composers and Musicians including four sections (composers, actors, music writers and pedagogues). Lubomir Pipkov chaired the organisation. Andrey Stoyanov was elected deputy chairman and musicologist Ivan Kamburov served as secretary. On 12 February 1947 was founded the Bulgarian Composers and Musicologists Society, which carried on the activities of the Contemporary Music Society and its ideas about the presence of a public organisation that would unite and defend the rights of the Bulgarian music professionals and also promote Bulgarian music both on a domestic and international scale.

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. Encyclopedia 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.