Dimitar Tapkov

composer, pedagogue, public figure

12.07.1929 – 07.05.2011Sofia - Bulgaria

Dimitar Tapkov graduated from the State Academy of Music in 1956 majoring in Composition under Professor Marin Goleminov. He worked at the Music Department of the Bulgarian National Radio (1956-62). He was Secretary General of the Union of Bulgarian Composers (1962-65), Director of Sofia Opera (1967-70), Rector of the State Academy of Music (1979-82); Deputy Director of the Scientific Art Studies Society at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (1972-79), Vice-President of the Culture Committee (present-day Ministry of Culture) (1982-86). In 1997 he was appointed Director of the Sofia Music Weeks International Festival. In 1961 he joined the staff of the State Academy of Music as a lecturer in Orchestration. He also taught Orchestration at the Academy of Music and Dance Art in Plovdiv (1963-67), Composition at the State Academy of Music (from 1971). He was promoted full professor (1976). He he has been teaching at the Academy of Music and Dance Art in Plovdiv and at the Shumen University.

He composed stage music; requiem and cantata, works for symphony and string orchestra, chamber music, etc. His compositional style reconsiders traditional genre forms and fills them with modern-sounding ideas. His music combines original use of instrumental timbres with linear dramaturgic development. He won a number of national and international distinctions. His Cantata for Peace won the first prize at the International Composers’ Rostrum in Paris (1976); his children’s song cycle “6 igralki-zalagalki” (Six Children’s Games) was prize-winning at a festival in Moscow (1978). A substantial part of his works were published, recorded under the baton of Vassil Stefanov and released on LP and CD.


Choral-orchestral works:

Requiem for Song Mi (1970).
Cantata for Peace for mezzo-soprano, childrens choir and string orchestra (1975).

For voice and symphony orchestra:

Symphony N2, words by Anastas Stoyanov (dedicated to Vasil Stefanov) (1991).
Cycle of four songs based on poems by Dimcho Debelianov (1959).

Works for symphony orchestra:

Suite of four symphonic tales after Elin Pelin (1957).
Brief Symphony (1978).

Tale about Belasitza (1957);
September Overture (1974);
Rhapsody (for small orchestra) (1968);
Concerto for orchestra (1969);
Rhapsodic divertimento (1972-73);
Lamento (1976);
Essay for orchestra (1979).

Concertos for: flute and orchestra (1956); harp and orchestra (1971).

Works for string orchestra:

Microsymphony (1992);

Childrens sinfoniettas: N1 (1956); N2 (1966); N3 (1971).

Prelude (1955);
Six Bagatelles (1972-73);
Variants (1995).
Concertino for bassoon and string orchestra (1994).


Concerto for coloratura soprano and string quartet (1955).
The Conceited Frog – musical tale for reader and three wind instruments (1959);
Horse and Snail for reader and percussion (1994);
Remembrance for voice and strings (2002).

Chamber Music:

Rhythmology – six dance jokes for percussion after Jules Renard (1979);
Ostinato for 12 violoncellos (1990);
Wind Quintet (1972);
Fable About the Mouse, the Turtle, the Rock and the Magpie for wind quintet (1979).
Variations for string quartet (1955).

String quartets: N1 (1956); N2 (1972-73); N3.

Three Folksongs (1957);
Two Suites Sketches on Folksongs (1957-58);

Five Miniatures for two violins, viola and violoncello (1958);

Quartet for viola, flute, harpsichord and harp (1973);

Trio for flute, clarinet and bassoon N1, N2 (1953-54);

Five Studies for percussion (1970);

Sonatina for trumpet and piano (1952).

Solo sonatas for:
double bass (1968); violoncello (1990); oboe (1993); clarinet (1994); viola (2002).

Vocal music:
To Eternity song cycle for voice and clarinet, lyrics by N. Gerov (1993).

Choral music:
For mixed choir:
Two Songs based on 12th century French troubadours (1998).

For equal voices choir: Vo imya Gospodne (In God’s Name); Cherub Song, both based on Bolgarskiy rospev of the 17th century (1997-98).

Children’s song cycles:
Prispivalki (Lullabies) (1996).

Selected literature on him (in Bulgarian):
Genova, Miroslava. The Symphonies of Dimitar Tapkoff [with list of works] (Sofia, 1997).