Simeon Venkov

composer, arranger, performer

07.10.1943Sofia - Bulgaria

Simeon Venkov has been involved in music since he was 10 years old. He started studying the accordion and was enrolled in the first accordion “Music School” at the “Aleko Konstantinov” community center with teacher Raina Tomalevska. In high school, he began to study double bass with the intention of preparing to apply to the Bulgarian State Conservatory, where he was accepted in 1963 and graduated in “Musical Pedagogy” in 1967 with a special subject – double bass.
In 1965, as a student, he was elected secretary of the “Sofia Jazz Club”, chaired by Milcho Leviev, where he organized and participated in a number of jam sessions with prominent jazz musicians. In the period 1963-1967, he also organized jam sessions in the BDK concert hall, in which he himself participated, together with fellow students and musicians.
In 1967, he joined Metodi Ivanov’s quartet, with whom he toured for several months in Yugoslavia.
In February 1968 after a competition, he started working as a full-time double bass player in the “BNA Variety Orchestra” with music director Kiril Donchev, where for three years he participated in over 300 concerts in the country and abroad.
Since January 1971 joined the orchestra “Objektiv 71” with music. leader N. Kuyumdzhiev and in less than a year participated in over 70 concerts and about 30 recordings of songs for radio and television broadcasts.
On 01.12.1971, he was appointed as a part-time teacher of double bass in the “Variety Department” at BDK, and on 16 May 1972, he successfully passed the competitive exam in double bass and bass guitar, and from 1 December of the same year, he was appointed as a full-time teacher of both the tool. Since 01.01.1984 he has been a senior lecturer, since 9.11.2000 he has been awarded the scientific title of associate professor, and on June 20, 2006, from the VAK (Higher Attestation Commission) to the Council of Ministers, with the title of “professor”.
From 01.02.1972, by agreement, he was appointed double bassist and bass player of the orchestra “Sofia” with mus. manager D. Simeonov. For about three years, in addition to the large concert activity in the country (400 concerts) and tours abroad (84 concerts), there has also been intensive recording activity in BNR, BNT and “Balkanton”. He made 29 arrangements and 11 original pieces for orchestra. “Sofia” and is the first bass player in Bulgaria to perform in jazz concerts, which he initiated himself.
In 1974 His first author’s album “Spring Sounds” is released.
In 1975 formed the VIS “Rondo-Sextet”, with which, as a performer, arranger and author of many of the plays and songs, he toured in the period from 1976 to 1980. in the USSR, GDR and FRG.
From 1976 to 1982, he was a member of the “Cabinet of the Young Composer”.
In 1979 started and in 1981 successfully completed specialization in bass guitar and arranging at the “Hans Eisler” Higher Music School – Berlin.
Since 1971 by 1998, he had written music for 46 Bulgarian films – feature, documentary, animation, commercial and 3 animation films for the German ZDF television. In 1991 in Delhi concluded and fulfilled a contract to write the music for the feature film “Electric Moon” by the Indian director Pradeep Krishan, commissioned by the 4th channel of the English BBC television.
Three of the films for which he composed the music have won a total of 11 awards.
By contract, from 1985 to 1987, he worked as a sound director in the “Animation Film Studio” – he provided sound for over 40 films, and he was also the author of the music for 4 of them.
In 1983 ed. “Music” published his collection “33 etudes for bass guitar”, and in 1990 – “Pieces for bass guitar, piano and percussion instruments”, both of which are of priority application in his teaching work at the National Academy of Arts. In 1993, he prepared the notebook “29 scales in 14 keys”, which was included in the training program of his students.
In 1985 under his leadership, the student formation “Jazz Trio + X” was born, which is active to this day. Over the past years, students from different classes in the specialty “Pop and Jazz Art” have participated in it – bass players, double bass players, saxophonists, pianists, drummers and singers. This formation participated in the jazz festivals in Ruse, Sopot, Plovdiv and Stara Zagora (1987, 88, 89 and 93), in the days of the arts “Apollonia” – Sozopol (1987), at the XII “Festival of Peace” in Nicosia – Cyprus (1988), at the XIII “Festival of Youth and Students” in Korea (1989), a number of concerts in the National Palace of Culture, in the Presidency in connection with the 8th of December.
The formation “Jazz Trio + X” for years participated in the clubs – “Han”, “Frankis”, “La Strada”, “Swinging Hall”, “Eldorado”, “Biblioteca”, “B-29”.
In 1990 with this formation he recorded a record called “Pile shareno”, and in 1994 his author’s cassette “Memories”, ed. from Stars Records.
During his active performing career, Simeon Venkov also performed with the Big Band of the BNR, the orchestra of the Satirical Theater, the orchestra of the “Musical Theater”, the chamber orchestra of “Theatre 199”, orch. “Generations” by hand. L. Georgiev. There are numerous concerts and performances with these orchestras, as well as considerable recording activity.
Until 1998, he wrote music for 4 theater productions, as follows: “Oh, Kei” and “Chapter Two” in the “Sofia” Cafe-Theater, “The Wonderful Three” in the Smolyan Theater, and “On Four Ears” in the Pernish Drama theater.
At the “Golden Orpheus” festival in 1996, he received the “UBC Award” for music and arrangement of the song “Ne moga kato teb”.
In 1997, he fulfilled a contract for orchestrating and conducting the variety show “Scent of Love” – ​​two parts of 50 minutes each. Formed and worked with a ten-member orchestra of students – majoring in “Pop and Jazz Art” at DMA, with whom he participated in a total of 96 performances – this show was performed every night in the “Sunny Beach” variety bar throughout the summer season.
In 1998, channel 1 of BNT in the program “Auftakt” repeatedly broadcast his creative portrait.
In 2000 and 2001 participated as an orchestrator – soloist (bass guitar) in two concerts of “Requiem” by Alfred Schnittke, first performance in Bulgaria, performed by “Sofia Philharmonic” and NFH “Svetoslav Obretenov” under the direction of Professor Georgi Robev. The first concert took place on 25.10.2000. in the hall “Bulgaria” – Sofia, and the second concert on 26.03.2001, within the “March Music Days” in Ruse.
In the period 2000-2006 has realized 5 concerts in the National Palace of Culture with the formation “Jazz Trio + X”, three of which are included in the annual cultural celebrations “Salon of the Arts”.
In 2000 and 2002, he performed 2 concerts in Pernik with “Jazz Trio+X”. With the first concert, which took place in the “Palace of Culture” on 10.11.2000, the “November Music Days” opened in the city. On 21.11.2002, the formation realized a jazz concert in the “Cultural House” – Pernik, accompanied by a lecture on jazz music.
On 19.12.2002, “Jazz Trio + X” performed a concert in the AULATA of the New Bulgarian University, which was a state exam for Stanislava Dimitrova – vocalist, student at NBU, soloist of the formation “Jazz Trio + X”.
On 17.02.2006, at the French Cultural Center in Sofia, he gave a concert dedicated to Yves Montand, in which songs from the singer’s repertoire were performed, arranged by Prof. Simeon Venkov in a jazz version and performed by the “Jazz Trio + X” formation.
On 07.06.2006 the premiere of a unique performance takes place – the play “Marriage” by N. V. Gogol, adapted and directed by (Doctor of Science) Nikolay Atanasov, in which Prof. Venkov participates with author’s music and live performance (after numerous rehearsals) . The performance is unique as it is performed by students of NATFIZ with impaired hearing and speech.
On 16.06.2006 together with students from the National Academy of Medical Sciences gave a charity concert of the doctors from Aleksandrovsk Hospital and St. Catherine Hospital in the hall of the same name.
In the period 1999-2008 participated with author’s music in seven literary musical performances, six of which are a cycle under the name “Koprivshtice – the only one”. These literary-musical compositions were performed several times in Koprivshtitsa, Pernik and Sofia, and audio discs were released on the first, fifth and sixth. And by order No. RD 09-11-40/29.12.2002 of the Minister of Education and Science, the first composition – “An Extraordinary Friendship” D. Debelyanov-N. Liliev and the fifth – “The Brightest Son of Koprivshtitsa” – for T. Kableshkov, have been approved as study aids for grades 8, 11 and 12.

The seventh recital “The Sage” – a literary-musical composition based on poems by Stefan Gechev and a script by Prof. P. Petrov, was presented in Hall 11 of the National Palace of Culture on 03.11.2001 on the occasion of the Day of the Awakeners.
In 2000 Prof. Simeon Venkov was invited to write music for the show “The Tailed Star” based on stories by Angel Karaliychev and dramatization by Prof. Petar Petrov, which was performed in the Youth Theater in 2001. Also in 2000, he was included as a composer and performer in the creative team, which created 75 animated miniatures, which were broadcast on BNT in every program of “Panorama” hosted by Boyko Vassilev in the period 2000-2002.
In 2000 and 2001, he wrote and performed the music for the two-part animated film “Ah, these parents” commissioned by the German TV station ZDF, as well as for two more Bulgarian animated films – “Male Profession” and “Clownade”.
In the period 2000-2005, there were 5 television shows on BNT in the “Jazz Time” section, in which he presented himself as an author, arranger and performer together with students from the National Academy of Arts “prof. Pancho Vladigerov”. In the same period, his compositions in the genres of pop, jazz, chamber and film music were used by the BNT fund for musical arrangement in various BNT shows.

From 2001 to 2006, as the leader of the “Jazz Trio + X” formation, he participated in over 30 entertaining shows of the “Hristo Botev” program in the “Cabaret Fata Morgana” section.
For nine months from January to September 2001, together with the formation “Jazz Trio + X”, Simeon Venkov performed jazz programs (189 in total) at the Radisson SAS Grand Hotel.
In the period 2002-2004 participated with “Jazz Trio + X” in Enoteca “Uno” (125 performances).
In the period 2002-2004 – in Club “30” (351 appearances).
In the period 2003-2004 – 11 appearances in Piano Bar “B 29”.
In the period November-December 2003 – 21 New Year’s concerts in the entertainment complex “Sofia Land”.
Since 2004, there have been weekly performances at the Hamsa Club – Jewish Home.
In 2005 and 2006, he performed as a solo jazz pianist at the “New Standard” Club-Restaurant (247 performances).
Since 2001, it has been included on the peoplesound site, where it has its own page.
From 2006 to 2017, he produced as a producer 5 poetic-musical recitals, where he was the composer of the music and the picture director of the multimedia products:
1. “An extraordinary friendship” for Dimcho Debelyanov and Nikolay Liliev
2. “My soul is a groan” based on memories and poems of Peyo Yavorov
3. “Events from my life” based on poems by Valeri Petrov
4. “In the soft autumn” based on excerpts from the poem “In the soft autumn” by Valeri Petrov
5. “The brightest son of Koprivshtitsa” – Todor Kableshkov (with a historical theme)
In the same period (for 11 years) he performed numerous concerts and wrote several musical works, some of which were included and performed in the concerts of UBC – “New Bulgarian Music”.