Stefan Kanev

composer, pedagogue

20.07.1930 – 22.12.1991Sofia - Bulgaria

Stefan Kanev graduated from the State Academy of Music in 1953 majoring in Composition under Professor Parashkev Hadjiev, Professor Marin Goleminov and Professor Vesselin Stoyanov. He was appointed chief librarian at the Traditional Arts and Crafts Central House. He also worked at the Traditional Music Department of the Bulgarian National Radio and collaborated with the traditional music ensembles in Blagoevgrad, Dobrich and at the Palace of Children (former Pioneer’s Palace) in Sofia. He also worked with eminent traditional music singers and consulted traditional music ensembles in Bulgaria. He is a consultant to various folklore ensembles in Bulgaria.

He wrote suites for symphony, chamber, wind and traditional instruments orchestra; songs; over 5,000 arrangements of melodies from various regions; music to over 60 dance productions. He made use of the urban and peasant folklore; he was particularly fond of Rhodope and Thracian folksongs. His traditional song and dance arrangements were performed by such names as M. Stoycheva, Y. Argirov, Y. Taneva, K. Zgyrova, S. Sabotinova, B. Prisadova or K. Varimezov. His songs “Otdolu mi idat shareni koltza” (A Motley Cart Approaches), “Ogreyalo mi yasno slantze” (A Bright Sun Shone), “Tri byulbyula peyat” (Three Nightingales Are Singing) or “Mari mome, malka mome” (Young Maiden, Beautiful Maiden) won huge popularity.


Orchestral suites:
For symphony orchestra:

Celebration in the Village (1954); Gankino Horo.

For chamber orchestra:

Macedonian Suite; Suite of Four Songs after Poems by Hristo Botev.

For wind orchestra:

Suite of Four Popular Songs.

For traditional music orchestra:

Concertino for kaval (Editor’s note: the kaval is a Bulgarian traditional wooden wind instrument) and traditional instruments orchestra.

Songs for traditional music choir:
Dimitrov the Hero; To the Party; We Will Serve You To Whatever End; Don’t Hurry Up, Sun; Prochu se moma Nedelya (Maiden Nedelya Became Known for).

Dance productions:
Awakening; Rebel Spirit; Rose-Picking; Enyo’s Misfortune; Orpheus and Rhodopa; Belenka.

Arrangements of traditional songs and dances:
Avliga pee (Oriole Is Singing); Pohvalila sey Enchitza (Enchitza Said); Petar sred dvori sedeshe (Petar Stood in the Yard); Song for Yane Sandanski; Nevesto, mori nevesto (Young Bride); Tri pati pominah (I Passed Three Times); Liliana; Zapyala y moma vchera po pladne (A Maiden Sang Yesterday); Sednala e Yana; Stani mi, Yano, otvori (Come, Yano, and Open the Door); Za Dena hodiat svatove (Dena Is to Be Married); Stratiyovata maychitza (Stratio’s Mother); Stoyan sabira, tragnuva (Stoyan Is Packing Up); Maro, Marodiyo; Stoyan mam si tiho dumashe (Stoyan Talked Quietly To His Mother); Kine le, mari hubava (Beautiful Kina); Nauchila se Lalitza (Lalitza Knew); Yane, oshte li moma hodish (Yane, Are You Still Unmarried); Zaspal yunak v gora zelena (Young Man Fell Asleep in a Green Forest); Ekyoysko Horo; Gergebunarsko Horo; Tujarovsko Horo, etc.