Pancho Vladigerov

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Life in Dates

1932 - 1945 Return to and recognition in Bulgaria

In 1932, Vladigerov returned to Bulgaria for good. To this fact, he dedicated his concert overture Earth for large symphony orchestra. He married Ekaterina Zheliazkova, his first piano teacher’s daughter. He worked as a part-time teacher in piano, composition, and chamber music at the Academy of Music in Sofia.

In 1933, his son Alexander was born. To him Vladigerov dedicated his piano miniatures Shumen. The young composer was also invited to join the jury at the International Competition for Singers and Instrumentalists in Vienna. He was a co-founder of the Contemporary Music Association and Union of Young Bulgarian Composers.

In 1936, on April 20, his only opera Tsar Kaloyan with a libretto by Fani Popova-Mutafova and Nikolay Liliev had its premiere at the Sofia National Opera House.

In 1937, Tsar Kaloyan received its European premiere at the stages of opera houses in Bratislava and Ljubljana. On October 3, 1937, Vladigerov performed as a soloist his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra № 3 in a concert organized on the occasion of the official opening of Bulgaria Concert Hall in Sofia.

In 1938, Vladigerov was invited as a member of the Permanent Council for International Cooperation of Composers in Europe, chaired by Richard Strauss. He was the only Bulgarian representative in this organization until 1942. In 1938, he was a member of juries in international competitions in Brussels and Stuttgart. The same year he wrote his Symphony № 1 for large symphony orchestra, dedicated to the Austrian composer and music theoretician Joseph Marx.

In 1939, the premiere of Vladigerov’s Symphony № 1 was performed by the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Mihajlo Vukdragović.

In 1940, Pancho Vladigerov became a full-time teacher in piano, composition and chamber music at the State Academy of Music.

In 1941, A Lexicon of Jews in Music was published in Berlin. Vladigerov was included as a half-Jewish musician.

Until 1944, due to World War II, he restricted his contacts on and travel to the Balkans. His works were performed in concert halls in Bucharest, Athens, Belgrade, Ljubljana and Zagreb. He wrote his Romanian Opuses: Four Romanian Symphonic Dances and Two Romanian Symphonic Sketches.