Marin Goleminov

composer, conductor, music pedagogue, music publicist

8.09.1908 – 19.02.2000Kyustendil – Bulgaria

He belongs to the second generation of Bulgarian artists. He educated generations of Bulgarian musicians. His work initiated a music movement in Bulgarian culture marked by the use of Bulgarian traditional music elements interwoven with an original style and vision. He graduated from the State Academy of Music in 1931. He studied Violin with Professor Todor Torchanov and music theory subjects with Professor Dobri Hristov and Professor Nikola Atanassov. From 1931 to 1934 he studied at the Schola Cantorum in Paris majoring in Composition under Professor Vincent d’Indy, Paul le Flemm and Albert Bertlain. He attended composition classes of Paul Ducas at the Ecole Normale de Musique, as well as Theory of Music, Aesthetics and Literature classes at the Sorbonne. In 1934 he returned to Bulgaria and joined the Contemporary Music Society. He played the second violin in the famous Avramov Quartet (1935-38). He was among the founding members of a chamber orchestra at Radio Sofia and his first conductor (1936-38). In 1938 he went to Munich to specialise in Conducting under Professor Karl Erenberg and Composition under Professor Josef Haas and Professor Knappe at the Academy of Music. Since 1943 for over four decades he worked as Professor at the State Academy of Music, teaching Music Instruments, Orchestration, Conducting and Composition. He was elected Rector (1954-56) and Director of the Sofia Opera (1965-67). He won the Gottfried von Herder Award of the Vienna University (1976). He joined the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and was promoted Academician (1989).

He wrote four operas, two dance dramas, among which The Fire-Dancing Woman considered to be a masterpiece; works for choir and orchestra, for voice and orchestra; four symphonies and other works for symphony and string orchestra; eight string quartets and other chamber works for various instruments; choral and solo songs. A great part of his works has entered the permanent repertoire of the Bulgarian performers.

He published 4 music-theoretical studies and textbooks, over 200 articles, essays, reviews, etc. in the periodical press at home and abroad.


Stage music:
Ivaylo (premiered in Sofia, 1959);
The Gold Bird (music tale) (premiered in Sofia, 1961);
Zahari, the Icon Painter (premiered in Sofia, 1972);
Thracian Idols (premiered in Stara Zagora, 1981).

Dance dramas:
Fire-Dancing Woman (premiered in Sofia, 1942);
Kaloyan’s Daughter (premiered in Sofia, 1973).

Father Paisii (1966);
Ballad for the April’s Uprising for soloists, choir and symphony orchestra (1976);
Krestu Tvoyemu (Your Cross) and Alleluia for male voices choir and orchestra (1992);
Symphony-Cantata “Resurrection for the Living” for mezzo-soprano, mixed traditional music choir and orchestra (1993).

For voice and symphony/chamber orchestra:
For bass and symphony orchestra:
Peasant Song (1943);
Three Traditional Songs (1953).

For soprano and symphony orchestra:
Symphony Impressions after Paintings by the Bulgarian Artist Vladimir the Master – poem for voice and orchestra (1982).

For soprano and chamber orchestra: Three Miniatures for soprano and chamber orchestra (1965).

Works for symphony orchestra:
Symphony N1 Childrens (1963);
Symphony N2 (1966);
Symphony N3 To Peace in the World for orchestra, soprano and traditional music orchestra (1969-70).

Night Symphony Poem (1931);
Gorianki Overture for big symphony orchestra (1939).
Symphony Variations on a theme by Dobri Hristov (1942).

Concerto for violoncello N1 (1946) (version for viola and orchestra, 1955) and 2 (1984);
Concerto for violin (1968);
Concerto for piano (1975);
Concerto for oboe (1984);
Concerto for double bass (1993).

Prelude, Aria and Toccata for piano and symphony orchestra (1954);
Diptych for flute and orchestra (1982);
Lament (in memory of Dobrin Petkov) (1989).

Works for chamber orchestra:
Balkan; Bagpiper; Suite of Five Macedonian Songs; Suite of Five Folksongs (1936).

Works for string orchestra:
Symphony N4 Shoppophony (1977-78);
Five Sketches (1952);
Four Miniatures on Traditional Songs (1953);
Six Miniatures (1963);
Concerto for string quartet and string orchestra (1963);
Concerto (1980);
Concert Piece (1985).

Chamber Music:
Wind Quintet N1 (1935); Wind Quintet N2 (1946).

String Quartets:
Quartet N1 (1934); Quartet N2 (1936); Quartet N3 Old Bulgarian (1946); Quartet N4 Microquartet (1966); Quartet N5 (1969); Quartet N6 (1976); Quartet N7 (1976); Quartet N8 (1982); Five Sketches for string quartet (1948); Six Miniatures on Folksongs for string quartet (1953).

For solo instrument and for various instrumental ensembles:
Prelude for violoncello and piano (1948);
Little Suite for solo viola (1951);
Duets for two violins (1955);
Trio for oboe, clarinet and bassoon (1964);
Sonata for Solo Cello (1969);
“Triptych” for flute, oboe and bassoon (1977);
Grotesque for flute, harp and cembalo (1987);
Wind Quintet “Tubaphony” with solo tuba (1987);
Extremes for tuba and flute (bassoon and flute) (1990);
Chamber Music 3 for two not-transposing French horns and orchestra (1991);
Sonata for violin and viola (1996).

For piano:
Youth Pages; Five Impressions piano cycles (1959).

Vocal music:
“Nature” cycle of five impressions for high voice and piano (1968).

Choral music:
For mixed choir: Lud Gidiya (Madcap), on a poem by Pencho Slaveykov (1934);
Suite of Five Carols (1938);
Hvalite imya Gospodne (Praise God) (1989).

Solo Songs:
Rebel’s Bride; Spring Song; Caravan (1949).

Selected books (published in Bulgarian):
On the Sources of the Bulgarian Sound-Creating Process. Historic-aesthetical Study (Sofia, 1937);
Music Instruments. Textbook for the Students at the State Academy of Music (Sofia, 1946);
Problemes de l’Orchestration (Sofia, 1953, 1956, 1966).
Behind the Curtain of the Creative Process (Sofia, 1971);
Diaries, edited by Rumiana Apostolova (Sofia, 1996).

Selected literature on him (in Bulgarian):
Arnaudova, Boyanka. Marin Goleminov (Sofia, 1968);
Lazarov, Stefan. Marin Goleminov (Sofia, 1971);
Apostolova, Rumiana. Marin Goleminov (Sofia, 1998);
Arnaudova, Boyanka. Music Dramaturgy and Elements of Style in Marin Goleminov’s Stage Work (Sofia, 2000);
Paunova, Polia. Marin Goleminov in Bulgarian Musicology (Sofia, 2000).