Ivan Valev

composer, conductor

14.08.1928 – 31.03.2010Lukovit – Bulgaria

Ivan Valev studied Law for two years at Sofia University (1946-48) and later graduated from the State Academy of Music (1952). He worked as college teacher of music, director of the children’s music school in Lukovit and conductor of the mixed choir, the symphony orchestra and the operetta in the town (1952-60); he also taught solfeggio in Pleven (1960-1961). From 1961 to 1992 he worked as Chief Artistic Director and Conductor of the Northern Ensemble Choir, which was awarded prestigious State prizes. He had a concert activity in Bulgaria and abroad in France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Moldavia, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Jordan, Morocco, Syria, Canada, the USA, the Canary Islands, etc. The ensemble recorded a number of works for the Bulgarian National Radio, had five LPs released by the Bulgarian recording company Balkanton, a CD and a film about it – Folklore Carousel – as well as other films realised in cooperation with the Bulgarian National Television.

He composed a number of songs for traditional music choir and professional choir, as well as works for choir and orchestra; arranged and wrote pieces for wind orchestra; composed music to dance performances. Some of his songs are still very popular. He wrote theoretic and methodological articles and papers. He won the Golden Lyre Prize, the Crystal Lyre Prize (1998), the second prize at the National Competition for Children’s Vocal Ensemble (1999), etc.


For choir a capella:
Takala li si, momina male? (Maiden’s Mother, Have You Woven?); Neranza; Prekloni se, bulne le (Bend Down, oh, Maiden); Bulgaria; Three Miniatures after motifs from Vidin; Cycles of Christmas Carols and Palm Sunday Carols, included in the CD “Ritual” produced by Marcel Cellier, etc

For soloist, traditional music choir and wind orchestra:
Doyde si Pano pashata (Pano the Pasha Came Home) after motifs from Jeravna, etc.

Music and dance works for traditional music choir and orchestra:
Balkan Suite; The Seasons; Oleliya (Hullabaloo) (children’s musical and dance impression after motifs from Gabrovo); Gergyovden (St. George Day), etc.

Selected books (published in Bulgarian):
Traditional Music Choirs. Analytical Study (Sofia, 1972).

Selected literature on him (in Bulgarian):
Ivan Valev and the Northern Ensemble in Pleven (compiled by Rada Draganova) (2003).