Veselin Stoyanov

composer, pianist, pedagouge, public figure

28.04.1902 – 29.06.1969Shumen – Bulgaria

Veselin Stoyanov is son of Anastas Stoyanov and brother of Andrey Stoyanov. He belongs to the second generation of Bulgarian composers. He was among the founders of the Contemporary Music Society in 1933 (which later became the Union of Bulgarian Composers). He graduated from the State Academy of Music in 1926 majoring in Piano under his brother. The same year he enrolled at the Vienna Hochschule f?r Musik studying Piano with Professor V. Ebenstein and Composition with Professor F. Schmidt. He took private classes of Piano with P. de Kohn and Orchestration with Wunderer. Upon his return to Bulgaria he taught Piano and Theory of Music (1931-37). He performed as a pianist and conductor. In 1937 he joined the staff of the State Academy of Music teaching music theory subjects. In 1945 he was appointed Professor of Composition and Music Forms. He also was elected Dean of the Music Theory Faculty (1952) and Rector of the State Academy of Music (1956-1962). He served as director of the Sofia Opera (1953-54). He composed in a variety of genres with an inclination to instrumental large-scale forces and through-composed forms sustained by leitmotif technique, rich harmony and sumptuous even exotically sounding orchestration. A national stamp to this style was provided by use of modal colouring or irregular time beats characteristic for the Bulgarian traditional music but without quoting. He composed three operas, one ballet; symphony and chamber music; three concertos for piano and orchestra; choral, solo and mass songs; film music, etc. A few of his works won recognition as bright examples of Bulgarian music and were internationally acclaimed. Among them one might mention his grotesque suite Bay Ganyu after Aleko Konstantinov (1941), his Rhapsody (1956) or his Festival Overture (1959); the instrumental concertos, his Piano Sonata and Piano Suite composed in the 1930s, his Sonata for violin and piano, the String Quartets, etc.

He wrote and published articles on music aesthetics, music forms and contemporary Bulgarian music.


Stage music:
The Kingdom of Women, libretto by Stefan Kostov after his comedy (1935, Sofia);
Salambo, libretto by B. Borosanov after the novel by Gustave Flaubert (1940, Sofia);
Cunning Peter – comic opera, libretto by the author/M. Moskov (1952; 1958, Sofia).

Abdal Firus (Slave of Love) (1936, Sofia);
In the Seraglios of the Caliph (1940, Sofia);
The Sinner from Baghdad (1935, Sofia);
The Seraglio without Sultan (1941, Sofia), libretto by B. Borosanov.

The Pope Ioanna, to his libretto after the novel of the same title by Emmanuel Roidis (1969, Sofia).

Works for symphony orchestra:

Symphony N1 (1962);
Symphony N2 The Great Preslav (1969);
Capriccio (1934);
Bay Ganyu – Suite (1941);
Symphonic poem Bloody Song (1947);
Rhapsody (1956);
Festival Overture (1959).
First Suite from the ballet The Pope Ioanna (1966);
Second suite from the ballet The Pope Joanna (1967).

Concerto for piano N1 (1942);
Concerto for piano N2 (1952);
Concerto for piano N3 (1966);
Concerto for violin (1956);
Concerto for violoncello (1960);
Violin Concertino (1963).

Chamber Music:

String quartets: Quartet N1 (1933); Quartet N2 (1934); Quartet N3 (1935).

Sonata for violin and piano (1934);
Concertino for violin and piano (1955).

For piano:

Sonata (1930);
Suite (1931);
Two Bulgarian Traditional Dances (1945);
Album for children and teenagers (1955);
Three Pieces (1956).

Film music:

Strahil Voivode (Strahil voyvoda), directed by Yosip Novak (1937);
Legend of Love, directed by Vaclav Krska (1957).

Selected literature on him (in Bulgarian):

Starshenov, Bogomil. Vesselin Stoyanov (Sofia, 1962).