Dobromir Tsenov

Dobromir’s research aims to explore and record the complete piano music by the neglected 20th century Bulgarian composer Lubomir Pipkov (1904 – 1974). The project will also include world première recordings.

Pipkov belonged to the so-called ‘second generation’ of Bulgarian composers, such as Pancho Vladigerov, Veselin Stoyanov and Petko Staynov. He left a large compositional legacy, its main elements being three operas (Yana’s Nine Brothers (1929), Momchil (1939) and Antigona ’43 (1962)), four symphonies for a variety of orchestras (full, chamber, string), three string quartets, a piano quartet (1938) and a piano trio (1930), film music, and many works for solo piano.

Pipkov’s music is characterised not only by the rich use of Bulgarian folklore but also by his mastery of twentieth-century styles. Although his star has now waned, his presence on the stage of twentieth-century music made him one of the more prominent and influential composers of his time. He was praised by Alfred Cortot and Boulanger, as well as Dukas, with whom he established his compositional style, in 1928–29 in particular.

This performance – based research will address the relevance and urgency of Pipkov’s music which was previously neglected and hidden from view. The project will also be dedicated to the 120th anniversary of the composer in 2024.

Dobromir’s latest album, which was released in September 2022 by Toccata Classics, comprises piano works from Pipkov’s latest period. Up to date, the CD has received excellent reviews by the Gramophone magazine as well as the Music Web International (Recommended) and Classics Today.

Dobromir is very grateful for generous support from the RNCM as well as the Bulgarian Culture Fund. He is supervised by Dr Adam Swayne (RNCM) and Dr Annika Forkert (RNCM).

Listen to Lubomir Pipkov: Complete Piano Music, Vol. 1 (Toccata Classics).