"There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

Pancho Vladigerov

Pancho Vladigerov is arguably the most influential Bulgarian composer of all times. He belonged to the so-called second generation of Bulgarian composers, was one of the first to successfully combine Bulgarian folk music with the idiom of classical music and introduced a few genres to Bulgarian music, such as the piano trio and the violin sonata. He was one of the founders of the Bulgarian Contemporary Music Society, which later became the Union of Bulgarian Composers.

Vladigerov composed in various genres, including opera, ballet, symphonic music, concertos, incidental music for the theatre, songs and chamber music. He also made many transcriptions. His most performed work is Vardar Rhapsody, also known as Bulgarian Rhapsody, a fiery and patriotic piece, originally for violin and piano, and later orchestrated.

Vladigerov gained considerable fame in Europe in the 1920s thanks to publications and recordings of his works. As pianist and composer he toured trough Europe performing mainly his own works. His music has been admired by Dmitri Shostakovich, Richard Strauss and Aram Khachaturian and performed by artists like David Oistrakh, Alexis Weissenberg and Marc-André Hamelin. Yet his name remains largely unknown outside of his home country.

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