Georgi Shagunov

composer, conductor, public figure, pedagogue

15.03.1875 – 10.09.1948Plovdiv – Bulgaria

Georgi Shagunov graduated from the St. Augustin College in Plovdiv. In 1889 he went to France to study medicine but decided to study music and enrolled at the Conservatoire of Lyon. After he graduated, he specialised in French horn and Composition under Professor Luggini. In 1895 he returned to Bulgaria and served as military bandmaster first in Plovdiv then in Lom and since 1897 in Burgas where he worked for over 50 years. He made his name as one of the leading artists of that time who largely contributed to the development of the orchestral and musical culture throughout the country. He was one of the first members of the Rodni Zvutzi Music Society and conductor of its string orchestra. He taught Wind Instruments at the music school of the Society. He gave concerts; he also founded and conducted choirs.

He wrote chamber and symphonic music; works for wind orchestra; entertaining music, etc. A great part of his orchestral works was dedicated to personalities and events from the Bulgarian history. Suite forms predominate in his music. They are harmoniously intermingled with elements of the Bulgarian folklore. Substantial parts of his works are military marches. Among them, still popular are Edin zavet (A Legacy) and the song Pokoynitzi (Deceased).


Works for symphony orchestra:

Symphony N1 The Balkans (1931); Symphony N2 Maritza (1931); Symphony N3 Travel in a Dream (1933); Symphony N4 (1935); Symphony N5 (1946); Symphony N6 (1948). Hristo Botev Fantasy (1922); Solemn Overture (1926); Bulgarian Woman Symphony Suite (1927); Native Sounds Overture (1945).

Works for brass band:
Kaval (1900); Gerda (1905).

Makedonka (Macedonian Woman) (1903); Slavyanka (Slavonic Woman) (1904); Emanuil Manolov (1907); Overture (1915); Overture (1932)

Hristo Botev (1914); Botevi spomeni (Botev Memories) (1926); Indje Voyvoda (1926); Liliana (1927); Peyo Yavorov (1944); Allegro Moderato (195); Greetings to Vitosha (1943).

Works for string orchestra:

Traditional Dances (1907); Piece (1915). Rachenitza: N1 (1924); N2 (1926). Concerto for violoncello and string orchestra (1925).

Chamber Music:

Sextet The Last Hour (1901); Wind Quintet (1948); Quintet Burgas (1948); Mila Rodino (Sweet Fatherland) Fantasy for violin and piano (1942).

Hymn to H.M. The Tsar (1908); The Independence (1908); Marches for piano (1921); Balkan Heroes (1926); Maestro Mihaylov (1931); Native Song (1932); Guardsmen Musicians (1934); A Legacy (1934); The Hero (1935); March of the Bulgarian People (1939); Niy idem (We Are Coming) (1939); God Save The Tsar; The Tsar is Calling Us.

Selected literature on him (in Bulgarian):
Georgi Shagunov. Varban Varbanov. Dimitar Karadjov. Inventory (Burgas, 1980).