Artist Birtday : 06/05/1882 (Age 49)
Born In : Plovdiv
Web Site :

Maestro Georgi Atanasov is a Bulgarian composer and orchestra conductor, also e representative of the first Bulgarian composer’s generation and founder of the Bulgarian opera art.

Maestro Georgi Atanasov is the author of 6 operas – something incredible for this period. He also wrote other things: short kids operettas, which for a long time had satisfied the needs of children and school animation, songs, marches, children songs and many more. But his creative interest was in opera. The conditions under which Maestro Atanasov had worked were very hard (the first and the second part of 20th century) and all his works were due to his unconditional love for music.

With many efforts and sacrifices Atanasov managed to finish his 6 operas, which not only made the beginning of the Bulgarian music art of that kind, but during the next years had opened the needs of the Bulgarian repertoire. 3 of his operas are about everyday life and the other 3 are with a historic plot. Maestro Atanasov had started to work influenced by the Italian opera, later he emphasized on the national character at his work, and his last work he was trying to catch more modern music language and a new perspective of the problems. His opera works are very melodious, with a very close connection to national sound heritage and language.

Maestro Georgi Atanasov was born on 6 May 1882 in Plovdiv. His childhood was marked with misery and deficit. Since then he showed up his musical talents and by accident, he had started lessons with the famous composer. Panayor Pipkov, who helped the orphaned child free of charge.

At the age of 15, Atanasov started to study music theory, trombone piano in Bucarest school. He played trombone in

The Bucharest Opera Orchestra. By this time, Atanasov made his first tries to compose. Unfortunately, he didn’t manage to graduate and went back in Bulgaria in 1898.

In 1901 he went to Italy to study composition and counterpoint in Pezaro at Pietro Maskani’s classes . In 1903 Atanasov had graduated with “Maestro di music” degree.

He came back in Bulgaria and started to work as a bandmaster in Haskovo, Karlovo and Plovdiv. In 1914 he moved to Sofia. Atanasov was appointed for a bandmaster of The Guards Orchestra in Sofia (1914-20;1923-1926) and in the Military school (1920-1923;1926-1931). He also worked as a orchestra conductor in the National Opera in Sofia (1922-1923).

The nearly 100 symphonic concerts had been performed with the Guards Orchestra and they presented Maestro Atanassov as the most significant conductor in Bulgaria since the 1920s.  Those concerts gave the Bulgarian audience to see for a first time Beethoven’s works, Weber’s, Mozart’s, Bach’s and also works of Bulgarian composers such as Nikola Atanasov (Symphony N1, 1918), Pancho Vladigerov (First piano concert, 1920), Dobri Hristov, Petko Naumov, Sasha Popov, Ana Todorova and many more.

His first opera – “Borislav”, Maestro Atanasov wrote in 1911 influenced by Ivan Vazov’s drama with the same name. 6 years later Atanasov made his second opera – “Gergana” with folk-style plot, which had been very successful for centuries. Later, Atanasov wrote 2 more operas with folk-style storyline – “Zapustialata vodenica” (“The desolated mill”), the libretto was writen by Alexender Morfov, and “Tsveta” based on the plot of the famous drama “Makedonska kyrvava svatba” (“Macedonian Blood Marriage”) by Vojdan Chernodrinski. The other 2 operas are also with a historic plot – “Kosara”(1926) with Boyan Danovski’s libretto and “Alcek” (1930) with Petar Karapetrov’s libretto. “Kosara” and “Alcek” had a difficult composition and were accepted differently by the audience.

Important part in the Bulgarian music life took other works of Atanasov – “Bolniyat uchitel” (1909) (“The sick teacher”), “Za ptichkite” (1911) (“Birds”), “Samodivskoto izvorche”(1912) (“The fairy spring”), “Zlatnoto momiche” (1914) (“The golden girl”), “Malkiyat geroi” (1915) (“Little hero”), also his songs and marches were important too. Atanasov also had an important part as an opera and symphony conductor.

At the age of 49 Atanasov got sick. He had diabetes and he had to be under treatment abroad. Atanasov received help from the Italian Institute “Pro Oriente” and thanks to them, he traveled to Italy, but it was too late – he died on 17 November 1931.

In 1936 under initiative of his friends and admirers some money was collected to transfer his mortal remains to Sofia, where he was re-buried in February 1937.

Maestro Georgi Atanasov

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