was a Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...
A native of Plovdiv
Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia with a population of 338,153 inhabitants according to Census 2011. Plovdiv's history spans some 6,000 years, with traces of a Neolithic settlement dating to roughly 4000 BC; it is one of the oldest cities in Europe...
, Atanasov began formal musical studies in Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....
at the age of 14. From 1901 until 1903 he studied composition at the Rossini Conservatory
The Conservatorio Statale di Musica "Gioachino Rossini" is a music conservatory in Pesaro, Italy. Founded in 1869 with a legacy from the composer Gioachino Rossini, the conservatory officially opened in 1882 with 67 students and was then known as the Liceo musicale Rossini...
Pesaro is a town and comune in the Italian region of the Marche, capital of the Pesaro e Urbino province, on the Adriatic. According to the 2007 census, its population was 92,206....
with Pietro Mascagni
Pietro Antonio Stefano Mascagni was an Italian composer most noted for his operas. His 1890 masterpiece Cavalleria rusticana caused one of the greatest sensations in opera history and single-handedly ushered in the Verismo movement in Italian dramatic music...
. Upon receiving his diploma
A diploma is a certificate or deed issued by an educational institution, such as a university, that testifies that the recipient has successfully completed a particular course of study or confers an academic degree. In countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, the word diploma refers to...
with the title of "maestro", he adopted the word as his formal style of address. He returned to Bulgaria soon after, becoming well known as a leader of military bands. He conducted the Sofia National Opera from 1922 to 1923.
Atanasov was the first Bulgarian composer to write opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...
regularly; his style is Italianate
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...
, melodic and bearing the influence of folk idioms. He alternated contrasting musical numbers to achieve dramatic effect in his works.
Among Atanasov's operas is Gergana
, the first
Bulgarian opera in which one central character is the focus of the plot. Among his other works are comic operetta
Operetta is a genre of light opera, light in terms both of music and subject matter. It is also closely related, in English-language works, to forms of musical theatre.-Origins:...
s and more serious works.
- Borislav (1911)
- Moralisti (operetta) (1916)
- Gergana (1917)
- Zapustyalata vodenitsa (The Abandoned Mill) (1923)
- Tsveta (1925)
- Kosara (1929)
- Altzec (1930)