Nikola (Kitanov) Atanassov

composer, pedagogue

Никола (Китанов) Атанасов

25.10.1886 – 30.09.1969Kyustendil – Bulgaria

Nikola Atanassov belongs to the first generation of Bulgarian composers. He composed the first Bulgarian symphony (1912), inspired by the classical symphony form, as well as the first Bulgarian sonata for piano (1911). He graduated form the Conservatory of Zagreb where he studied under Professor F. Dugan, V. Ruzic, K. Yunek and V. Humel (1906-12). He taught music in Stara Zagora (1912-22), Pleven (1915) and Sofia (1922-24). In 1923 he joined the staff of the State Academy of Music as lecturer in music theory subjects and later became Professor (1929-58). He was Rector of the State Academy of Music (1934-37).

The orchestral music predominates in his work. He composed three symphonies; two overtures and the music picture Chieftain Doychin; overture for mandolin orchestra and other pieces including five Bulgarian folksong medleys; three suites; three waltzes; Rachenitza; Arabesque; Intermezzo; chamber works; choral music; solo songs, etc. He also made over 500 arrangements and orchestrations of overtures, hymns, solo songs by other authors, etc. His Symphony N1 and the Trio for violin, violoncello and piano are among his most popular works.


For symphony orchestra:


Symphony N1 (1912);
Symphony N2 (1922);
Symphony N3 (1963).


Hristo Botev (1927);
The Moan of the Forest (1931).

Chamber music:

Trio for violin, violoncello and piano (transcription for flute, bassoon and piano).

For piano:

Three sonatas;
Cycle of nine pieces;
Three marches.

Vocal music:

10 songs for voice and piano, etc.

Selected literature on him (in Bulgarian):

Liondev, Peter. Nikola Atanassov (Sofia, 1963).