110th anniversary since birth of composer Prof. Georgi Dimitrov

Photo: library

In April the 110th anniversary since the birth of composer and conductor Prof. Georgi Dimitrov was marked. Professor Dimitrov is founder of the Bulgarian choral conducting school. He grew up in the family of musicians in the beautiful town of Belogradchik. His interest in art showed up in an early age. He progressed rapidly with the violin and was also writing poetry. In an interview kept in the Golden Fund of the BNR Georgi Dimitrov recalls:

“I started studying violin because this was the only music instrument we had at home. I was making attempts to compose when I was a student. Once I wrote a piece entitled ‘Summer Evening in the Village’ for four violins. I created this naïve work after a trip to the Magura Cave. I showed this to my professor at the Warsaw Music Academy, in order to demonstrate that music ideas can emerge even in the remotest place, far away from music civilization. Then I did not even know the laws of harmony. Later in the music school I was a pretty good violinist. Along with this I started falling in love with vocal work, perhaps under the influence of my parents, who sang and led choirs. The academy pays more attention to instrumental music than to vocals. However, I realized that the warmth of the human voice had a tremendous effect on me. No instrument can replace the human voice and the feelings it can express. This love was constantly growing and I decided to focus on vocal music and choral art. "

For more than a decade Georgi Dimitrov had been living outside Bulgaria. He spent a lot of time in Poland where he was the head of the Hristo Botev Bulgarian Students’ Choir in Warsaw. Although hundreds of kilometers separated him from Bulgaria, the patriotism of the composer did not fade away. "What I find in Bulgaria I could not find in any other country. Lubomir Pipkov was a good friend of mine despite the fact he was studying in France and I was in Poland. Every time I met him we talked about our love for Bulgaria,” the composer once said.

This love was the reason that made him write the cantata “Glory to Motherland” for four choruses.
The great creative potential of Georgi Dimitrov extended in many directions – he was composer, conductor, and pedagogue. He spent 8 years as artistic secretary of the Sofia Opera. The choral works of Georgi Dimitrov continue to be an indispensable part of the repertoire of Bulgarian choirs.

The maestro passed away in 1979, leaving a great number of works for the future generations. “Composers are most happy when they hear their works performed. I think each piece that reaches the hearts of the listeners is valuable,” composer Georgi Dimitrov once said.

English version: Alexander Markov

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