ARTISTIC BIOGRAPHY OF TODOR GEROV
Bulgarian composer Todor Vasilev Gerov was born on July 14th, 1946 in the town of Montana, Bulgaria. Since early age he began studying accordion with Stephan Evlogiev in DMS (Children's Music School) "Dobri Hristov", Montana - an institution in which later he, himself would become a professor. During high school years he took private lessons in Sofia City with the famous musician and pedagogue Hristo Radoev, who influenced him greatly in mastering the instrument. Simultaneously, Todor Gerov directed his efforts towards acquiring proficiency in the playing of piano and synthesizer.
In his youthful years he founded an instrumental trio at the community cultural center in his town. The formation consisted of accordion, guitar and string bass. Later, the trio evolved into a bigger, combo orchestra, comprising of seven performers. Concurrently, Todor Gerov was completing stage appearances as a soloist, as well as an orchestra member in many other formations and he actively participated in the numerous musical events in the town and district of Montana.
In 1960 Todor Gerov became the first accompanist of the choir in SPTU "Hristo Michailov", conducted by Dimitar Iliev. During its long existence, the choir was often a winner of diverse Bulgarian and international awards.
Owing to his highly accomplished performance, in 1964 Todor Gerov became laureate of "the Second Republican Festival for Young Performers", held in Sofia.
In 1970 the State Attestation Commission at the ministry of Art and Culture awarded him the highest category - "leading soloist" - in accordion performance.
Even in these early for his music career years, Todor Gerov was entertaining a great popularity and respect among the music circles.
Together with his numerous concert performances, Todor Gerov continued his music education in accordion with the outstanding musician and pedagogue Georgi Galabov; his piano and harmony (theory) training with the eminent pianist, the founder of "Eolina" quartet, Stephan Trayanov; and his theoretical instruction with the exceptional pedagogue in the realm of solfeggio (sight singing and ear training) and music theory, Georgi Torbov.
In 1975 Todor Gerov graduated the Theoretical Faculty of the Bulgarian National Music Conservatory, Sofia, with special instrument piano. There, he studied music with such prominent pedagogues as ass. Prof. Zdravko Manolov, ass. Prof. Bentsion Eliezer, ass. Prof. Ivan Peev, ass. Prof. Manol Todorov, ass. Prof. Lidia Guleva, ass. Prof. Dimitar Ruskov, etc.
In 1974 Todor Gerov entered as a pianist at the Ensemble of the Military Forces, Gorublyane Division, Sofia. In the same time he became accompanist of the Division Choir and later became its conductor as well. Simultaneously, he was a leader of the Popular Music Orchestra in the same division. Up until 1980, T. Gerov developed competitive and concert activities with the aforementioned formations, whose performances were crowned with insignia of honor and a warm welcome from the audience.
A great deal of his music activity T. Gerov dedicated to the pop-variety genre. As an orchestra member and a leader of miscellaneous formations, he was touring in Bulgaria and in various countries, such as Germany, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Cyprus, Greece, Syria, Egypt, Israel, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and others.
He worked with significant Bulgarian singers, such as Lili Ivanova, Emil Dimitrov, Yordanka Hristova, Boris Godjunov, Mimi Nikolova, Petya Bouklieva and others, as well as with numerous soloists from different countries.
From 1994 to 2000 Todor Gerov worked for several international Cruise Liners and was actively involved in the production of numerous show programs as a bandleader, orchestra member and arranger. Todor Gerov collaborated with the outstanding British expert choreographer and costume designer Belinda Karavos, known for her professionalism, intricate choreography and creative imagination. Furthermore, Gerov cooperated with various international instrumentalists, vocalists and ballet dancers, among which Ruth and John Dee, Mitch Daniels, Paul and Wendy Cooke, Mandy Oakley, Steve Zebs, Clark Stewart and many others.
Together with his artistic appearances in the capital, Todor Gerov contributed to the development of the music culture in his hometown, Montana. There he participated as a soloist and arranger of the famous with its numerous republican and international awards mandolin orchestra at the trade-union House of Culture, conducted by Lubomir Kaltchev.
Substantial part in the professional music career of the composer is dedicated to numberless note and sound arrangements for different in their character and size orchestras - from arrangements for chamber music, to the rich jazz-symphonic melodiousness of the world repertoire: cinema, theater, musical.
Although that Todor Gerov entirely devoted himself to composition in his more mature years, he won the admiration of the audience even with his early works, such as the music for the theatrical "Who Said 'Meow'?" directed by Michail Ganev. The theatrical premiere was staged in January 1981 in the composer's hometown, Montana and later was performed in Sofia and other cities.
Todor Gerov's creative work encompasses diverse in its style and character solo instrumental and orchestra music, with priority given to the solo compositions for piano and accordion.
Todor Gerov's rich professional experience as performer and arranger, and last but not least, his method in listening and analysis of the music works, contributed to his growth in the sphere of classical music, jazz, popular music and folklore, which became and essential factor for the formation of his own artistic blueprint, distinguished for its rich stylistic variety and intriguing sounding.
A greater part of the composer's work is in the style of contemporary classic, while particular compositions carry the national Bulgarian intonation. Essential portion of his compositions are written in the variety style and others are structured by blending the intonation elements of different styles, masterfully and flowingly fusing in each other, thus creating a sense of unity of the entire compositional design.
Priority in the artistic style of the composer is given to: compactness of the form, rich melodic line and euphonic harmony, complicated when necessary, without outbursts in expendable avant-garde.
In most recent time T. Gerov once again turned his attention to the accordion, for which he wrote a significant number of solo and ensemble compositions, a great deal of which have been included in the repertoire of various music schools and universities in Bulgaria and abroad. Many of the compositions have been performed at Bulgarian and international performance competitions.
Todor Gerov's first composition for accordion is "the Flying Pigeon" and it was dedicated to his professor Georgi Galabov. The composition was included in G. Galabov's collection "Plays for Accordion".
Todor Gerov's compositions "Prelude", "Perpetolino" and the suite "Christmas" won the award for best compositions in solo and chamber music for accordion in the National Bistritsa Contest 2003. Later, the winning compositions were published by the Bulgarian Composers Assosiation.
Todor Gerov is engaged in artistic activity with ass. Prof. Petar Marinov and ass. Prof Georgi Mitev, Elena Melnik and Angel Marinov (pedagogues at the Academy for Music, Choreography and Art, in the town of Plovdiv); with the pedagogues Diana Kuneva and Nana Petrova, with ass. Prof, Dr. Elka Petkova (Southwest University, town of Blagoevgrad); with Diana Stancheva (State Music School "Lubomir Pipkov", Sofia City; with the pedagogues Rumen Todorov, Tsenka Todorova and Goranka Dimitrova (Music School, town of Pleven); with the pedagogue Antoaneta Prodanova (Music School at the community cultural center "Vasil Levski", the city of Sofia), as well as with many other Bulgarian pedagogues and performers.
Todor Gerov is a member of the founded by Georgi Galabov club "Accordionist" in the town of Bistritsa, in which he actively contributes to the development of the musical life.
Todor Gerov is one of the founders of the "Accordionist Association in Bulgaria", chaired by ass. Prof. Petar Marinov.
Todor Gerov is a member of "Music Author" (Organisation for Collective Management of Copyright), where he has registered his entire work.1
1 The Copyright Law in Bulgaria became effective on August 01, 1993. It also relates to several international agreements for international protection of the copyright and the author's work. Berlin Convention (1886); Universal Convention for Copyright Protection (1952).