Todor Popov

composer, public figure

23.01.1921 – 02.02.2000Drianovo – Bulgaria

Todor Popov graduated from the State Academy of Music in 1949. He studied Composition with Professor Parashkev Hadjiev, Professor Vesselin Stoyanov, Professor Marin Goleminov and Professor Pancho Vladigerov. He was a postgraduate student in Composition of E. Golubiov at the Moscow Conservatoire (1952-57). Upon his return to Bulgaria he worked as music editor at the Bulgarian National Radio and taught Harmony and Music Instruments at the State Academy of Music. He authored and edited music textbooks and song collections. He was deeply involved with the Bulgarian choral art.

He composed a musical play, an oratorio and other vocal-instrumental works; orchestral pieces; chamber music; choral and solo songs; film music; he also wrote folksong arrangements. His melodic talent was apparent in his first compositions, the marches Machine-Ginner’s March and On Duty. In the 1940s his songs from the film Morning over Our Fatherland (Let the Harmonica Play; Partisan-Brigadier; Youth March) won huge popularity. Among his hits from the 1950s were Play the Accordion, Andrey and Write a Letter to the Frontier Guard, as well as the arrangement for mixed choir of the patriotic song “Otkak se e, mila moya mayno lyo” (Since Break of Dawn). Various ensembles performed a number of his social songs. The song “Stara si mayka ni loje” wrote in the 1960s or the impressionist-romantic songs Chorale; Three Watercolours; Good Night, etc. were included in the representative repertoire of a number of singers and ensembles. His music was awarded, recorded, released on LP and published.


Stage music:

Tinkling Forest (1981).

Choral-orchestral works:

Songs about My Village – Suite.
Oratorio: Joyful Celebration (1957).
Six Miniatures for mixed choir and string orchestra after poems by Nikolay Liliev (1984).

Works for voice and orchestra:
Eight Songs (1975);
Three Songs for bass and orchestra (1982).

Works for symphony orchestra:

Symphonic Picture “Rozhen” (1954);
Symphonic Suite “A Distant Childhood” (1957);
Symphony “The Stalwart” (1984).
Violoncello Concerto (1952).
Song for violin and orchestra (1953).

Works for string orchestra:

Three Miniatures (1959);
Children’s Sinfonietta (1963);
Ancient Suite in seven movements (1982);
Elegy for violoncello and strings (1957).

Chamber Music:
String Quartets: N1 (1956); N2 (1963).

Vocal music:

Ni lah ne trepva nad poleni (It Is So Quiet); Lullaby; My White Pigeon; Sonnet; Springtime.

Choral music:

Mass songs:
Pod znameto na Partiyata (Under the Party’s Flag), lyrics by P. Stefanov;
Blagodarim ti, Partiyo lyubima (Thank You, Our Beloved Party), lyrics by Asen Bosev;
Youth Song for Peace, lyrics by P. Stefanov;
May Day, lyrics by G. Jechev;
Youth May Day Song, lyrics by Ivan Radoev;
Celebration Song, lyrics by Nikolay Zidarov;
Dalechna zastava (A Remote Frontier Post), lyrics by Evtim Evtimov;
Ballad for the Soldier, lyrics by Plamen Tzonev;
Little Ballad, lyrics by Mladen Isaev.

Choral cycles for mixed choir:
Sofia, lyrics by Burnaski and Zidarov; Autumn Motifs after Peyo Yavorov.

Choral songs:
Stara si mayka ni loje; Yo igra oro; Makya Yana nadaleko dava; Watercolour; Study with Watercolour; Gardens in Blossoms; Impression; Three Watercolours; Barcarolle, lyrics by Nikolay Zidarov; Good Night, lyrics by Ivan Radoev; Youth Spring Song, lyrics by Ivan Radoev; Night; The Old Church, lyrics by Vutimski. Daychovo Horo (Editor’s note: the horo is a Bulgarian traditional dance) – rhapsody for male voices choir, lyrics by Ivan Burin.

Song collection
3+4+3+4 (for kindergartens).

Selected literature on him (in Bulgarian):
Miladinova, Milka. Todor Popov. Bio-Bibliographical Study (Sofia, 1976).