Stefan Dragostinov

composer, conductor, pianist

Стефан Драгостинов

11.04.1948Sofia – Bulgaria

S. Jeleva and L. Kuteva gave his first piano lessons. Aged 12 he started studying composition with Professor Pancho Vladigerov and Professor Assen Karastoyanov. From 1967 to 1970 he studied Composition under Professor Alexander Raychev and Piano under Professor Bogomil Starshenov at the State Academy of Music in Sofia. He continued his composition studies at the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Conservatoire under Professor Arapov (1970-72). In 1982 he was awarded a scholarship to study in Cologne. From 1974 to 1994 he conducted the Philip Koutev National Folklore Ensemble and was its chief artistic director. In 1991 under his leadership, the Ensemble recorded in Japan its first three CDs released by the Victor Records in 1.5 million copies. Since 1994 he has compiled, recorded and produced CDs of traditional music and audio albums. In 1996 he founded the ensemble Dragostin Folk, with which he has given concerts and made recordings in Bulgaria and abroad.

He wrote symphonies and other orchestral and chamber-instrumental works; choral music; vocal cycles; pop songs; ballet, film and theatre music, etc. His music language is a bright synthesis of folklore tradition and vanguard composition techniques. Since 1978 he has applied in some of his compositions the method Controlled Polytempia he invented. His series of five Polytempi for various ensembles was performed by means of a device – Photopolymetronome – engineer Iliya Kojuharov had created for him. The Photopolymetronome makes possible the serialising of sound, articulation, dynamics and tempo. With the Polytempi 1-5, presented through the photopolymetronome, he created his own specific music language and new genre forms. He obtained recognition at prestigious international forums, among which: first prize at the Gaudeamus International Competition for his choral cantata The Fair (Polytempi); the Arthur Honegger Award of the Fondation de France for his choral cantata Polytempi III; first prize (and the only one assigned) at the Karlheinz Stockhausen Competition (Italy, 1980) for his Concerto for piano and orchestra (Polytempi IV); second prize at the Simon Bolivar Competition (Venezuela, 1982) for his Symphony-Monument, etc. In 1986 his Ode for the Sea was prizewinning at the Fernando Pesoa International Competition in Portugal. In 1998 his album Love Story from the series Key to the Mystery was ranked first in the top list of the British Classic CD Magazine. He was also prizewinner at The Golden Orpheus Festival in 1997, etc.

His Peace Symphony was created in 1985 with the cooperation of Rotary International on the occasion of the clubs 100th anniversary. He was among the organisers of the reestablishment of Rotary Club in Bulgaria and was awarded the Rotary gold medal Paul Harris for high merit in 2003. In 2001 he worked on a multimedia project Music & Motion Graphics together with the Japanese painter Susumo Endo. His works were performed all over the world: at the Moscow Autumn Festival, the Bergamo Summer Festival in Milan, the Warsaw Autumn Festival, in the halls of Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and Centre Pompidou in Paris. His basic publishers are Ricordi (Italy) and Dragostin Music International (Bulgaria). Dragostinov wrote poetry (the collection No Man’s Path published in Sofia in 1991) and prose (Pottery, published in Paris in 1986; the collection of essays Venezuela’s Jungle published in Maracaibo and Sofia in 1986).


Stage music:

Poem – ballet in one act (1975).


For mixed choir and symphony orchestra:

Five Strophes after Leonardo Cantata for choir and orchestra (1980);
Peace Symphony for soloists, mixed choir and orchestra (1985).

For female voices choir:

The Fair Cantata (Politempy 1) (1978);
Politempy 3 Cantata (1980);
Happy Music (1999).

For symphony orchestra:


Symphony N2 “Requiem” (1972);
Symphony N3 (1976);
Symphony N4 (1978);
Symphony-Monument (1982).

Chorale of the Crystal (1989).

Concerto for piano and orchestra (Politempy 4) (1980);
Promenos Concerto for bass clarinet and orchestra (Politempy 5) (1983).

Chamber music:

Sinfonia Piccola 1 for wind quintet (1971).

If Apocalypse Comes (1986-87) for female voice and chamber ensemble, lyrics by the composer.

Apophthegms for high voice, flute and percussion (1971);
Violin Sonata (1975);
Big Romantic Sonata for solo clarinet and silent piano (resonance pedal) (2001).

For two pianos:

Fugue-Integral (Seven Up) (2002)


over 500, for mixed choir (Bre Petrunko, etc.); for equal voices choir including traditional music ensembles (Prituri se Planinata; Rofinka; Sarakina; Love Story; Balkan Mountain, etc.).


Happy Music & Motion Grafics (2001).


Рromenos Concerto, Happy Music, Happy Music & Motion Grafics, Danube Music (DMI-2001).

Politempy 3; Peace Symphony (DMI-2001).

Symfony N3, Five Strophes after Leonardo (BALKANTON).

Songs­ Bulgarian Рolyрhony, vol.1 (1989, JVC, VID-25001, Jaрan);
Songs ­ Bulgarian Рolyрhony, vol.2 (1989, VICТOR, VID-25001, Jaрan);
Songs­ Bulgarian Рolyрhony Live in Toкyo (1989, JVC, VDP-1519, Jaрan).

New Songs­ (1992, BALКANTON).

Songs ­ А series of CDs ­ Тhe Кеу to the Mystery:
vol.1 Rofinкa (DFN-001);
vol.2 ­ Saraкina, (DFN-002);
vol.3 ­ Galunka (DFN-003);
vol.4 ­Danube Music (DFN-004);
vol.5 ­А Love Story, (DFN-005);
vol.6 ­Christmas Star (DFN-006).

Songs ­ А series of CDs; “Sonic Icons of Bulgaria”:
vol.1 Рrituri se Рlaninata (DFN 2002-1);
vol.2 ­Miloyкa (DFN 2003-­1).