Dragia Toumangelov

composer, conductor, pedagouge

13.02.1886 – 11.04.1961Koprivshtitsa – Bulgaria

Dragia Tumangelov belongs to the first generation of professional musicians in Bulgaria. He studied the violin in his native town before he moved in 1906 to live in Sofia, where he took private classes of Violin with Neda Fticheva and Theory of Music with Dobri Hristov. In 1909 he went to Germany. He graduated in 1912 from the Conservatoire of Wurzburg, Germany majoring in Composition and Conduction under M. Obersleben. Upon return, he taught music at the Second Male High School (1912-19; 1925-37), the First Male High School (1919-25) and the Military School (1937-46). Concurrently he conducted the choir Rodni Zvutzi (1924-25) and other amateur ensembles; he also taught at children’s music schools in Sofia and Samokov.

His first compositions date from 1915. He composed choral songs, 20 of which scored for mixed choir, and also children’s songs. Following the tradition established by Dobri Hristov, part of his choral works were folksong arrangements. The most popular are “Kato sakash da se jenish” (Since You Want to Get Marred) and “Sadi moma luk” (Girl Plants Onion). Other works follow the spirit of the urban march song. The latter include the songs “Az sam balgarche” (I Am Bulgarian) on a poem by Ivan Vazov and “Badi na krak” (Be Ready), on a poem by Asen Bosev.

He wrote music textbooks, in which he strove at making the traditional Bulgarian melody part of the music education.


Marches for equal voices choir:
Dear Fatherland, lyrics by Ivan Vazov (1915);
Curtsey, lyrics by Ivan Vazov (1915);
Comrades, Rise your Head, lyrics by Geo Milev (1925);
Victorious Song, lyrics by V. Bonev (1947), etc.

Songs for traditional music choir (based on traditional lyrics):
Padnala e temna magla (Dark Fog Has Fallen) (1926);
Sadi moma luk (Girl Plants Onion) (1926);
Mome, malka mome (Girl, Young Girl) (1927);
Yabalka tzafteshe (Apple-Tree in Blossoms) (1952);
Kavali sviriat (Sounding Kavals) (1959).