Lubomir Pipkov

composer, pedagogue, public figure

19.09.1904 – 09.05.1974Sliven – Bulgaria

Lubomir Pipkov is Panayot Pipkov’s son. He belongs to the second generation of Bulgarian composers. He was among the founding members of the Contemporary Music Society (1933), the predecessor of the Union of Bulgarian Composers. His impressive versatility as a composer, literary man and poet, journalist and public figure, pedagogue and socially involved artist with progressive ideas made his name as one of the leading personalities in the music culture and the intellectual elite in Bulgaria in the period 1930s-1970s. He studied Piano with Ivan Torchanov and Henrich Visner. He graduated from the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris majoring in Composition under Paul Ducas and Nadia Boulanger and Piano under Yvonne Lefebure. He returned to Bulgaria in 1932 and worked as accompanist at the Sofia Opera and was also actively involved in the work of the newly founded Contemporary Music Society. From 1944 to 1948 he was Director of the Sofia Opera. In 1948 he was appointed Professor of Vocal Ensembles at the State Academy of Music. He began publishing the magazine Music (1948) (siuce 1953 which was later renamed Bulgarian Music) and participated in a number of congresses and international juries. From 1945 to 1954 he chaired the Union of Bulgarian Composers. In 1974 he was elected Honorary Member of the Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers.

He was posthumously awarded the title Corresponding Member of the Arts of the German Democratic Republic.

Lubomir Pipkov composed in all genres of the epoch reconsidering in a new creative manner their imagery and musical language.

He is author of three operas; vocal-orchestral opuses; four symphonies and other works for symphony, string and chamber orchestra; works for voice and chamber orchestra; choral and solo songs; children’s songs; folksong arrangements; film music, etc. Among the choral masterpieces are “In the Field”, “Spring Wind”, “Yellow Butterfly”, “Nani mi nani, Damiancho” or “Priglusheni pesni” – a cycle for female voices choir, which were included in the repertoire of the Bulgarian choirs and created an internationally acclaimed image of the Bulgarian choral art at prestigious international festivals and other forums.


Stage music:
Yana’s Nine Brothers (1929-32, staged in 1937);
Momchil (1939-43, staged in 1948);
Antigona ’43 (1962, staged in 1963).

Choral-orchestral works:
Wedding Cantata (1935).

Cantatas for choir and orchestra (1952-1958).

Oratorio for Our Time (1959).

Five Songs after Lyrics by Foreign Poets – chamber cantata for soprano, bass and chamber orchestra (1963-1964).

Works for symphony orchestra:

Symphony N1 (1939-40);
Symphony N2 (1955);
Heroic Overture (1949).

Violin Concerto (1951);
Concerto for piano (1954);
Symphony-Concerto for violoncello (1953-63).

Works for string orchestra:

Symphony N4 (1970);
Journey through Albania (1950).

For chamber orchestra:

Symphony N3 (1965);
Suite Spring in Thrace (1938).

Clarinet Concerto (1966).

For voice and chamber orchestra:
Haidouk Mountain suite of folksongs (1936);
Five folksongs (1938).

Chamber Music:
Concerto for winds, percussion and piano (1929).

String Quartets:

N1 (1928);
N2 (1948);
N3 with timpani (1965).
Piano Quartet (1938);

Piano Trio (1930).
Four folksongs for voice, flute, violoncello and piano (1928).

Sonatas for:

violin and piano (1929);
solo violin 2 (1969).

For piano:

22 Variations (1923);
Three childrens pieces (1925);
Bulgarian Suite (1928);
Children’s album (1936);
Pastoral (1944);
Antique Dance (1946);
Prelude (1948);
Teenagers’ Collection (1956);
Metrorhythmical Parts and Pieces (1969-71);
Spring Caprices (1971-72);
“From 1 to 15” (1973);
The Children’s Joy (1973).

Choral music:

A Spring Breeze, etc. (1936-38).
Choral songs to traditional lyrics: Yellow Butterfly, etc. (1941-46);
Choral cantatas on poems by Asen Raztsvetnikov (1939-38).
Nani mi nani, Damyancho (Sleep, Damyancho, Sleep, etc. (1948 – the early 1950s);

Seven folksongs for four-voiced mixed choir (also in a version for three-voiced choir) (1949-50);

Four madrigals for mixed choir (1968-69);

Bulgarian folksongs for mixed choir (1968-69);

Devil’s Tree (1971);

Priglusheni pesni (Muted Songs) – a song cycle, on poems by Marina Tzvetaeva (1972).

Film music:
Alarm, directed by Zahari Zhandov (1950);
The Tsar’s Pardon, directed by Stefan Sarchadjiev (1961);
Legend of Paisii, directed by Stefan Sarchadjiev (1962).

Selected books (published in Bulgarian):

Pipkov, Lubomir. Selected Articles (compiled by Krum Angelov) (Sofia, 1977).

Selected literature on him (In Bulgarian):

Iliev, Konstantin. Lubomir Pipkov. Monography (Sofia, 1958);
Koen, Lea. Lubomir Pipkov (Sofia, 1968);
Hlebarov, Ivan, Maria Kostakieva and Kipriana Drumeva (Belivanova). Lubomir Pipkov (Sofia, 1975; Moscow, 1976);
Hlebarov, Ivan. Lubomir Pipkov’s Creative Evolution. Vol.1 (Sofia, 1996); Lubomir Pipkov’s Creative World. Vol. 2. Book 1 (Sofia, 2000). Book 2 (including a list of his archives and complete works) (Sofia, 2001).
Angelov, Krum. Lubomir Pipkov (Sofia, 1999);