Rumen Tsonev

composer, music theoretician, arranger, conductor, pedagogue

30.05.1950 - 26.09.2014Sofia - Bulgaria

Rumen Tsonev graduated from the State Academy of Music in 1975. He studied Composition with Professor Lazar Nikolov. Rumen Tsonev graduated from the State Academy of Music in 1975. He studied Composition with Professor Lazar Nikolov. In 1985 he joined the staff of the National Theatre and Film Academy as a vocal teacher; in 2000 he was promoted full professor. His research paper “La forme audiovisuelle de la manifestation de l’oeuvre de theatre musical” won him the grade Doctor of the Sorbonne (2000). In 1990 he was elected member of the Musical Theatre Committee at the International Theatre Institute (ITI) in Paris. Since 1993 he has worked mainly in France. In 1996 he was appointed music director of the Atelier Theatre et Musique (ATEM) in Paris. Since 1990 he has taught at the Conservatoire National Superieur d’Art Dramatique in Paris and at theatre schools in New York (in 1991 and 1992). Since 1990 he has also given master classes in Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Tour, London, Stockholm, Cologne, Milan, Boston, New York, etc. In 1993 he was elected visiting professor at the Sorbonne and at the Conservatoire National Superieur d’Art Dramatique in Paris. In 2001 he was elected visiting professor at the Royal College of Music in London and the Conservatoire in Lyon. He has worked actively as conductor of well-known ensembles and soloists at authoritative forums like the series of summer festivals Open Stage held in Southern France or the annual participation with the French ensemble for Orthodox Music in Tours. He conducted the final concert of the celebrations on the occasion of the 2600th anniversary of Marseille, broadcast live by the French-German Television Arte Channel (1999), the recitals of the famous countertenors Alain Aubin, Alexis Vassiliev, etc. A number of CDs featuring his activity as conductor were marketed in Europe, USA and Australia. In 2003 he was nominated Music Director of the National Theatre of Toulouse (France). He made a name for himself with his vanguard musical theatre settings or scores to feature and cartoon films.
He authored the music to over 130 theatre productions staged in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, France, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Slovakia, the UK, former Yugoslavia, Canada, the USA, Tunisia, Thailand, Taiwan, etc.
In 1984 he won the first prize for music at the National Festival of Bulgarian Theatre (1984). He was also prizewinner at the International Theatre Festival in Newcastle, UK (1990), the International Fringe Festival in Edmonton, Canada (1991), etc. In 2000 his CD album Massalia was awarded by the Media Association; the same year he received the Bergman Prize for the music to the Swedish Royal Theatre production Bloody Wedding after Federico Garcia Lorca.

He authored over 80 articles and notices published in scientific magazines and periodicals.


Musical theatre:

Deviations (1996); Circle (1996); Overacting (1997); Average Exit (1999) (ATEM). Theatrophonia of Affects after Six Studies of Piranese by Andrey Bukureshtliev (1975); Recitations by G. Apergis (1982) and The Circle by R. Tzonev (Sofia, ppianissimo 2001). Le roti de l’Imparatrice after ancient French culinary recipes (theatre and concert version) (La Friche Theatre, Marseille, 2001).

Theatre productions:

King Oedipus (1986); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1996); Decameron (2000) (premiered at the Ivan Vazov National Theatre, Sofia). Romeo and Juliet; Both from Verona; The Twelfth Night; Richard the III; Henry the IV; King Lear; Measure for Measure; Taming of the Shrew; Hamlet (2001) (Stockholm, Swedish Royal Theatre). In the Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas (Gerard Philippe Theatre, Paris, 1999).

Works for symphony orchestra:

Scherzo for clarinet and orchestra; Serenade for violin and orchestra.