Petar Stupel

composer, public figure

27.04.1923 – 30.11.1997Sofia - Bulgaria

Petar Stupel graduated from the State Academy of Music in 1947 majoring in Piano under Professor Andrey Stoyanov. He specialised in composition and chamber music with Leo Weiner and Pal Kadosa at the Ferenz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest (1949-51). Upon his return, he worked as music editor at the Music Section of Radio Sofia and lecturer in Harmony at the State Academy of Music. He also worked as a composer at the Song and Dance Ensemble of the Bulgarian Army (1953-65), music editor at the recording company Balkanton and chief music editor of the Bulgarian National Television (1967-72). In 1980 he was appointed director of the international festival Sofia Music Weeks.

He was member of the Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers.

He composed a substantial amount of children’s songs; a children’s oratorio; operettas; two film musicals; children’s musicals; theatre and film music, etc. His contribution to the development of the Bulgarian pop and children’s song is considerable; most of his lyrical songs are very typical for the Bulgarian pop music of the 1960s. He got connected with pop music in the 1940s when he composed a series of songs after poems by Radoy Ralin and other young poets.

Very popular are his songs such as “Zamalchi, zamalchi” (Don’t Speak) (performed by Mimi Nikolova) from the film Favourite 13 (1958); Love Is a Sea (performed by Liana Antonova) from the film The Ancient Coin (1965); the songs to the Valeri Petrov’s play When Roses Dance (1961), recorded by the actor Encho Bagarov, the score to the TV serial For Every Kilometer (in co-authorship with Atanas Boyadjiev), the score to the film musical My Father, the House-Painter (1988), the songs The Snow of the Memory; Veselina; I Love You When, etc. He also authored some of the most popular children’s songs like “Zaychentzeto byalo” (The White Rabbit) and “Leka nosht, detza” (Good Night, Kids), the latter being broadcast for decades on the Bulgarian National Television. His works were awarded the highest prizes and were recorded by the Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television. His pop songs were published in two albums (1981, 1983).


Stage music:
The Straw Hat (1960);
The Kingdom of Letters – children’s operetta.

Musical plays:

The Golden Turnip;
The Merry-Go-Round.

Children’s ballet:
The Golden Girl (1959).

Film musicals:
My Father the House-Painter, directed by Stefan Dimitrov (1973) and My Uncle Godfather (in co-authorship with Yuri Stupel), directed by Stefan Dimitrov (1988).

Choral-orchestral works:
The State Pioneeria – children’s oratorio.

Chamber Music:
For piano:

Theme with variations (1944);
Concertino for two pianos (1959).

Awarded pop songs at:

The Golden Orpheus Festival:
Late Meetings lyrics by Petar Karaangov, performed by Maria Neykova and Mihail Belchev (melody from the film Men on a Business Trip) (first prize, 1969);
With Mummy’s Enthousiasm, performed by Emilia Lazarova and Mihail Belchev (second prize, 1972);
The Sea, performed by K. Kazanski (special prize, 1965);
For Every Kilometer, performed by Kosta Karageorgiev (special prize, 1970);
Immortality, performed by Mihail Yonchev (special prize, 1971).

Theatre music to:
When Roses Dance (1961).

Film music to:

Favourite N13, directed by Vladimir Yanchev (1958);
Be Happy, Ani, directed by Vladimir Yanchev (1960); The Ancient Coin, directed by Vladimir Yanchev (1965);
Jack-of-All-Trades, directed by Petar Vasilev (1962);
Hedgehogs Are Born Without Spines, directed by Dimitar Petrov (1970);
Time for Travelling (1987); People Who Never Disappear (5-series TV film, 1988); Fathers and Sons (1990), directed by Nedelcho Chernev;

At Each Kilometre, directed by L. Sharlandjiev and N. Chernev (TV serial, 1969);
Captain Petko Voivode (in co-authorship with Atanas Boyadjiev), directed by Nedelcho Chernev (TV-series, 1981).

Selected literature on him (in Bulgarian):

Liondev, Peter and Milka Miladinova. Petar Stupel. Bio-bibliographical Study (Sofia, 1976).