Teodosi Spassov

composer, perfomer, public figure

04.03.1961Isperih – Bulgaria

Teodosi Spassov is a famous Bulgarian traditional music and jazz performer. He began studying the kaval at the music high school in Kotel and later at the Academy of Music and Dance Art in Plovdiv graduating in 1986. He developed his own unique style of playing the instrument by intertwining traditional music with elements taken from jazz, classical and pop music. He has performed with eminent Bulgarian and foreign performers and bands such as Jazz Line, the Balgarka Trio, Dave Liebman, Dimitrios Vasilakis, Andy Shepherd, Yildiz Ibrahimova, Ennio Morricone, Jamey Haddad, Veselin Nikolov, Albert Mangelsdorf, M. Johnson, Ivo Papazov, the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Kazumi Watanabe, the Acoustic Version, the Mystery of Bulgarian Voices, Rabbi Abu Halil, Milcho Leviev, Dionisi Savapoulos, etc.
In 1994 he performed with Sofia Women’s Radio Choir and won with it the Grammy Award for The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices. During the season 1998- 99 he worked in the USA with the world-famous Irish dance show River Dance. At the fourth European Jazz Night Festival, Theodosii Spassov was a featured performer along with other jazz musicians, including Winton Marsalis. He won the Special Prize of the festival in Detroit (USA) in 1994. He was also laureate of the International Art Academy in Paris (1996). In Bulgaria he was elected twice Musician of the Year (1997, 2002). He is also soloist of the Bulgarian National Radio. From 1994 to 1999 he worked as artistic director of the Philip Koutev National Folklore Ensemble. Since 2000 he has been member of the Programme Council of the Bulgarian National Radio.
In 1998 he was elected member of the River Dance Managing Body. His music was released on 15 CDs. He composed film music and performed it. In 1993 he wrote the music to the French-Bulgarian production Granitza (The Border), directed by Hristian Nochev and Ilian Simeonov (1994); the following year he wrote the score to the TV film Gori, gori, oganche (Burn, Little Fire, Burn), directed by Rumyana Petkova (1994). He also made a number of folksong and instrumental arrangements, and also authored instrumental pieces.
In 2014, he received the honorary title “Doctor honoris causa” of the Academy of Music, Dance and Visual Arts in Plovdiv, and at the beginning of 2015 he was awarded the necklace “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” for his particularly significant merits in the field of Bulgarian culture.


Recordings and released CDs:
The Long Road (Balkanton, 1986);

The Sand Girl (Balkanton, 1989);

Gurbet Mohabet (Balkanton, 1990);

Karen Young (URSH, 1992);

Welkya (Gega New Records, 1994);

Beyond the Frontiers (Gega New Records, 1995);

Atmospheric Conditions Permitting (ECM, 1995);

Everest Concert (RFI, 1996);

The Glimpse (CMP Records, 1997);

Bratimene (Gega New Records, 1998);

Bulgarian Folk Dances (Hemus, 1998);

Fairy Tale Trio (Vergo, 1998);

Na Trapeza (Gega New Records, 2000);

The Fish Praying For Rain (Traditional Crossroad, 2000);

Silhouettes (Staiko Staikov, 2001);

Ultramarin (Kuker Musik, 2001);

The Spirit Of Bulgaria / Malka Moma (EMAM, 2001);

Labyrinth (Candid, 2001);

Encounters On The Road (41T Ltd, 2001);

Titla (Gega New Records, 2003).