Panayot Pipkov

composer, conductor

21.11.1871 – 25.08.1942Plovdiv – Bulgaria

Panayot Pipkov belongs to the first generation of Bulgarian composers. He is among the pioneers of the Bulgarian professional music. He is father of Lubomir Pipkov. He started playing the violin since early age, he sang in the choir of Georgi Baydanov and wrote poems. He took part as an actor in the Amateur Theatre Company in Plovdiv (1887), the Osnova Theatre (1889), the drama section of the Sofia Drama Company, and Salza I Smiah Theatre (1892). Thanks to the efforts of the actors from Salza I Smiah Theatre he was sent to study music in Milan, Italy (1893-95). Since 1899 he consecutively conducted the music societies in Varna and Ruse, taught music in Lovech (1900-05) and in Sofia (at the First and Second Girls’ High Schools, as well as at the Pedagogic Girls’ School).

Concurrently, he conducted amateur choirs and orchestras and built up their repertoire. He took part in the Balkan War as a bandmaster.

In 1918 he was conductor at the Free Theatre, then first conductor of the Georgi Kirkov Choir (1919), chorus master at the Sofia Opera (1920-21), actor and musician at the Sofia Drama Theatre (1923) and conductor of the wind band of the City Police (1924-1930). He was also journalist and playwright.

He composed two children’s operettas; folksong medleys and marches for wind orchestra; piano pieces; choral songs; pieces for violin; theatre music, etc. His piano pieces are among the first Bulgarian works in the genre. His most popular choral songs are Hymn of Cyril and Methodius, lyrics by Stoyan Mihaylovski (1901) and the song Sweet-voiced Lark, lyrics by Tzvetan Kalchev (1903), which was included in the children’s operetta The Cricket and the Ant (1910). The other children’s operetta Children and Birds was very popular, too. His children’s and school songs were published in three collections (1902, 1903, 1904).


Stage music:
Ruska (lost);
Zagorka (A Woman from Zagore) (1927).

Children’s Operettas:

Children and Birds (1909);
The Cricket and the Ant (1910).

Chamber Music:
Paraphrase on a Folk Theme for violin and piano (1936).

For piano:
Dance of the Wood-nymphs (1908);
Bulgarian Rhapsody (1918);

Selected literature on him (in Bulgarian):
Andreev, Andrey. Panayot Pipkov (Sofia, 1952);

Toncheva, Elena. Panayot Pipkov (Sofia, 1962).