Jules Levy

composer, player, conductor, public figure

19.06.1930 - 03.06.2006Thessaloniki – Greece

Jules Levy graduated from the State Academy of Music in 1957 majoring in Composition under Professor Vesselin Stoyanov. Later he specialised in France (1962, 67). His professional realization as a performer, conductor and composer began in his youth. He worked as performer (1945 – 48) and conductor (1948 – 50) at the non-professional ensemble Liliana Dimitrova. From 1948 to 1950 he did musical settings to children’s radio theatre productions at the Bulgarian National Radio. Orchestrator, composer and conductor of the Ensemble of the Bulgarian Armed Forces (1950-55). Composer and conductor of the Song and Dance Ensemble at the Ministry of Interior (1955-58). From 1958 to 1963 he worked as a composer and conductor of the orchestra of the Theatre for Satire. He was chief conductor of the State Music Theatre (1963-91) and lecturer at the State Academy of Music (1967-1975). He founded and conducted the chamber string orchestra Theatre Collegium for Music. Together with Dotzo Vatkov he conducted and artistically directed the pop music wind orchestra in Dimitrovgrad. He was secretary of the Union of Bulgarian Composers (1973 – 80). He was also secretary general of the Bulgarian National Music Committee at the International Music Council of the UNESCO (1974 – 81) and secretary of the European Group of the National Music Committees at the International Music Council of the UNESCO (1980 – 81).

He composed in a variety of genres. Most popular are his musical plays and other stage works. He wrote four symphonies and other works for symphony and wind orchestra; theatre music; pop songs, mass songs; music to radio programmes, TV and short films, etc. His works were recorded and performed in Bulgaria and abroad. He was prizewinner at the International Composition Festival in Moscow (1957). He also won the Sofia Music Award and other prizes and was also nominated at the International Composers’ Rostrum in Paris (1974). He was member of juries of international festivals and competitions.


Stage music:
Neda (1977, Sofia Opera)

The Profit (1982, Plovdiv Opera).

Musical plays:
The Girl I Loved (1963, State Music Theatre);
The World is Narrow (1970, State Music Theatre);
The Telephone, Which, a radio musical (1973);
Tsar Carpet Maker (1979, Plovdiv Opera);
Mission to Drach (1985, Music Theatre, Veliko Tarnovo);
Thank you, Charles (1987, Children’s Studio at the Varna Opera and State Music Theatre);
I Want to Fly (1988, State Music Theatre);
Yavor and Rusana (1990);
See, What an Audience! (1991).

Children’s Operettas:
Mama’s Words (1980);
If You Should Eat, You Should Work (1982);
The Wise Weaver (1984);
The Cowherd’s Daughter (1989).

Fair in Sofia (1968, State Music Theatre).

Works for symphony orchestra:
Symphony N1 (1958);
Symphony N2 (1970);
Symphony N3 for mezzo-soprano, bass baritone and symphony orchestra, lyrics by S. Tyankova (1975);

Overture-Poem (1982);
Symphonic Fantasy (1964);
Youth Concerto for violin and orchestra (1955).

For wind orchestra:
Symphony N4 Burlesque (1984);

Pirin Rhapsody (1977);
Rhapsody-Concertante “Celebration in the West Park” for alt saxophone and wind orchestra (1978);
Three Rhapsody Dances “From Karnobat to Tropicana” for trumpet and wind orchestra (1988);
The Maidens from Petrich – suite for traditional music singer and wind orchestra (1989);
The Young Soldiers are Playing – fantasy, based on themes by Maestro Georgi Atanassov (1987);

Holiday in May (1976);
Hope (1989);
Bulgarian Traditional Dance in Modo Grao (1987);
Sladuna, Bulgarian traditional dance a la lambada (1990);
Look Back with Laughter Retro-Humoresque (1988);
I Drink Wine humoresque (1989)

For pop music symphony orchestra:
Divertimenti concertanti:
N1 for trumpet and orchestra (1961);
N2 for flute and orchestra (1972).

Chamber Music:
String Quartets:

String quartet N1 “Masks” (1973);

String quartet N2 (1995).

Trio Sonata for flute, bassoon and piano (1991).

For piano:
Ten pieces for children for four hands (1980);
Childrens Sonatina (1981) (version for flute, oboe and bassoon, 1983).

Vocal music:
Two Self-Portraits, diptych for tenor (soprano) and piano (1991);
Songs of the Actor, cycle of six songs for mezzo-soprano (baritone) and piano (1992);

Cycle of seventeen Sefira songs (transcriptions of Hebrew-Spanish folksongs) (1995);
A Split Heart, lyrics by Albert Levy-Pepo (1998).

Choral music:
For mixed a cappella choir:
Till Tomorrow, lyrics by Blaga Dimitrova (1962);
My Fatherland, lyrics by D. Gundov (1976);
Where Is This Beautiful Land, lyrics by I. Genov (1959).

For female voices a cappella choir:
V nesabudeni yasni zori (When Dawn Was Still Sleeping), on a poem by Hristo Yasenov (1962).

Selected books (published in Bulgarian):
I See the Life In… Rose (Sofia, 2000).