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National Music Festival "Petko Staynov"

01.12.2017

Sonya Machorska

  With honoring the well-known composer and musician Petko Staynov the festive musical days began in his hometown of Kazanlak, announced the press center of the municipality.

   A solemn speech for the world-famous artist, founder of Bulgarian symphony and choir ballad, said Dr. Galina Lukanova, chairman of the Bulgarian Choir Union. The celebration was attended by Petko Staynov - grandson, manager of the Petko Staynov Foundation, representatives of the Municipality of Kazanlak, graduates of the local schools, citizens.

   The second national music festival "Petko Staynov" will continue until December 3rd with the appearances of 11 choral formations from Bulgaria and guests from Greece. The concert program starts with the Blind People "Akademik Petko Staynov" - Sofia and a children's vocal studio "Smileys" at the Louis Braille School of the Blind. Choirs from Plovdiv, Sofia, Kazanlak, Shumen, Dupnitsa, Chamber Choir from the Stara Zagora Opera are also participating.

   Petko Staynov was born on 1 December 1896 in Kazanlak and was a Bulgarian composer and pianist. He enriched the Bulgarian musical culture and contributed considerably to its development. A composer of great creative talent, of wide musical and general culture, possessing a keen sense for the topical ideas of modern time, he dedicated his entire life and all his abilities to Bulgarian music and musical culture, and to the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

   At the age of six Staynov injured one of his eyes; as a result, the other eye was also infected. At 11 he lost his sight completely. He graduated from the Institute for the Blind in Sofia (1915), where his talent for music showed for the first time. Later he studied music with Andrei Stoyanov and made his initial attempts at composing. In 1920 he left for Germany for a year of studies at the Private Musical Lyceum in Braunschweig. In 1923 he graduated from the Dresden Musical Conservatory, majoring in composition under Alexander Wolf and in piano under Ernst Munch. Having returned to Kazanluk in 1925, he created his first major work: the Thracian Dances symphonic suite in three movements.

   Staynov's symphonic output includes the suites Thracian Dances (1925, 1926) and A Fairy Tale (1930). They reveal the beauty of his native land, the fervour of folk dances, and evoke fairy-tale images. His two symphonies are marked by deeply felt philosophic generalisations.

   Staynov's symphonic works breathe powerful philosophic suggestions, while some of them, like, for example, Thracian Dances and Thrace, have become symbolic for Bulgarian music. Petko Staynov's choral songs reveal features of the Bulgarian people's character. Till the early 1930s, he followed the traditions of choral art laid by the first composers in the genre, introducing at the same time elements of his own style.

   With his choral ballads Staynov laid the foundation of a whole new field in Bulgarian music

   His overall work in both the symphonic and the choral genres contributed to some neglected stages in the development of Bulgarian music and thus further established his status as an outstanding figure in Bulgarian musical culture.

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