Triphon Silyanovski

composer, music theoretician, pedagogue, pianist, philosopher

16.12.1923 – 20.05.2005Sofia - Bulgaria

Triphon Silyanovski graduated from the Law Faculty of Sofia University and concurrently from the State Academy of Music majoring in Composition under Professor Pancho Vladigerov and in Piano under Professor Dimitar Nenov. He also studied History of Art and Stylistics with Hans Sedelmayer in Vienna (1941-43). In 1948 he won the first Bulgarian Singers’ and Instrumentalists’ Competition, an event that resulted in a number of recordings for the Bulgarian National Radio’s Golden Fund. After the instauration of the communist regime in 1944, his professional carrier was interrupted and his music was banished up to 1959. He was persecuted by the authorities for political reasons and was sent to a concentration camp (1949-51); he was periodically jailed thereafter and was exiled from Sofia. He got a living as a labourer, played the piano in restaurants and taught Latin and ancient Greek. Not until 1959 was he allowed to work as an accompanist at Sofia Opera. In 1973 he co-founded, with the director Plamen Kartalov, the Blagoevgrad Chamber Opera where he worked as music director until 1982. He then taught Score Reading at Plovdiv Academy of Music and Dance Art (1982-91). After the fall of the communist regime at the end of 1980s he joined the staff of the State Academy of Music in Sofia and was made professor extraordinary (1997).

He composed three symphonies; three concertos for string orchestra, piano concerto and other orchestral works; choral opuses; chamber and solo songs. Thematic material is often related to Orthodox chant. His professionally crafted scores are distinguished by an individual style, rigorous structural clarity, dense textures and complex polyphony.
He authored books, studies and over 70 unpublished research works in the field of philosophy, aesthetics, theology, art history, political sciences, but also on problems related to music interpretation.


Works for symphony orchestra:

Symphony N1 (1952);
Symphony N2 (1954);
Symphony N3 (1972).

Byzantine Triptych (1969).

Piano Concerto (1968).

Works for string orchestra:
Prelude, Aria and Toccata (1946);
Variations on a theme B-A-C-H (1952);
Variations on a theme by Gluck (1970).


Concert N1 (1953); Concert N2 (1955); Concert N3 (1956).

Chamber Music:
Sonata for oboe and piano (1956).

Solo sonatas for:

Sonata for violoncello (1965); Sonata for violin (1966); Sonata for viola (1967).

Vocal music:
Five songs for soprano and piano (left hand), based on the text by Reiner Maria Rilke (1953).

Choral music:
Missa Ordinaria (1954);
Te Deum (1956; revised, 1996);
Stabat Mater (1963).

Selected books (published in Bulgarian):
Idea. Faith (Sofia, 1992);
The German Symphonism – Style and Interpretation Problems (Sofia, 2000);
Art in Time. Life Rhythm in Art and Thought. Vol. 1 (Sofia, 2002).