Ivan Naumov


26.05.1902 - 03.04.1959Breznik - Bulgaria

Ivan Dimitrov Naumov is one of the first prominent Bulgarian composers of popular music after the Liberation. He worked in the 30s and 40s of the 20th century in Bulgaria. Роден е на 26. 05. 1902 г. в гр. Брезник. His father Dimitar Naumov died suddenly in 1904 and left his wife Anika Naumova a widow (only 26 years old) with 4 children. She, supported by her relatives, moved to live in Sofia, on “Bratya Miladinovi” Street, in a house, on the site of which they later built a cooperative, which still exists today.

Ivan Naumov graduated from high school in Sofia. At the same time, he studied piano with the renowned pianist Prof. Mara Balsamova. Later, supported by his uncle, he went to study music in Berlin, Germany, but due to the suspension of support after a while, Ivan Naumov was forced to play piano and accordion in nightclubs.
His German period coincides with the presence of the brothers Pancho and Ljuben Vladigerov, the lyrical baritone Alberto Pinkas and the lyrical tenor Asparuh Leshnikov, who were also in Berlin at the end of the 1920s. Asparuh Leshnikov also became the first performer of Ivan Naumov’s songs.

After the composer’s return to Bulgaria in 1930, he began a very active concert and creative activity in pop and jazz music, which was emerging at that time. At the same time (1931) were the first radio broadcasts of Radio Sofia. A jazz orchestra was also formed for the so-called “Rodno radio”, with soloist Ivan Naumov (pianist, accordionist and singer). Apart from that, the composer participated in the composition of the famous jazz orchestra of Haralampi Lesev, as well as in other salon orchestras that enjoyed great success in their time. These concerts were held in the biggest establishments and dance halls in Sofia, such as Birhale Bulgaria, Odeon, Gambrinus, etc. Apart from Bulgaria, Ivan Naumov also travels with various orchestras on concert tours in various European countries.

During this time was also the active creative period of the composer. For the period 1931-1944, over 31 Bulgarian hits were recorded and published, skilfully composed in the rhythm of tango, rumba, foxtrot, paso doble, romance, and the modern oriental foxtrot and slow-fox. Sound broadcasting also began in Bulgaria, in the form of gramophone records, and Ivan Naumov’s works were recorded by the then existing companies SIMONAVIA, LIFA RECORD, ARFA, LONDON RECORD and MICROPHONE. His songs were performed by the leading trio of artists of the era, namely Alberto Pinkas, Asparuh Leshnikov and Georgi Sharankov.
Through the gramophone record and the radio, the songs composed by Ivan Naumov reach all corners of Bulgaria. Some of them are particularly popular and become crowning hits for the era. These are the songs “Rosita”, “Sadness of the Abandoned”, “White Carnations”, “You Queen in My Love”, “Under the Blue Waters of a Fairytale Hawaii”, “Dance the Rumba” and many others. The authors of the texts of Ivan Naumov’s works are his fellow citizen from Breznik, the actor and comedian Stoyan Milenkov and the speaker of Radio Sofia Petar Vitanov, known under the pseudonym Amiko Fritz.

The recordings of the songs of the composer Ivan Naumov were made in Berlin, Prague, Bucharest and after 1939 in Sofia, when our country already had the corresponding sound recording equipment and studio equipment. The recordings were made in Berlin with the German orchestra “Karl Rokströ”, in Prague with the “Harry Harden” orchestra, and in Bulgaria with the “Microfon” dance-orchestra. About 21 of his hits have been released on vinyl. The rest of Ivan Naumov’s works were not recorded and were performed by salon orchestras. The scores of these works have been preserved.

Quite naturally, given the events that occurred after 09.09.1944, the composer’s creative career was interrupted, as the music that he created from the heart and delighted the entire Bulgarian audience, became decadent for the representatives of the new government and the culture they imposed put his music into oblivion.

The creativity of the composer Ivan Naumov is absolutely authentic. There are no established borrowed melodies from other hits or other musical works. Each of his hits is completely original and authentic. In this, he surpasses many of his colleagues who created during the period, who processed, arranged and presented under their own name European and Latin American hits, fashionable in their time or borrowed basic motifs and the musical idea from them.
Ivan Naumov died relatively young on April 3, 1959 in the city of Sofia.

A reference to the creative activity of the composer Ivan Naumov was made by Konstantin E. Georgiev