His students include the pianist Alexis Weissenberg. Vladigerov was born in Switzerland, but lived in Shumen. His mother Dr. Eliza Pasternak was a Russian Jew and a relative of the famous writer Boris Pasternak. His father Dr.Haralan Vladigerov was a lawyer.
Pancho Vladigerov played the piano and composed since early age. He was 10 when he started studying composition with Dobri Hristov in Sofia. After his father’s death in 1912, he moved to Berlin with his mother and his twin brother (the violinist Luben Vladigerov), where he enrolled at the Staatliche Akademische Hochschule für Musik and studied music theory and composition with Professor Paul Juon and the piano with H. Barth.
In 1920 he graduated from the Academie der Künste having studied composition with Professor Gernsheim and Professor Georg Schumann. He twice won the Mendelssohn Prize of the Academy (in 1918 and 1920). He worked for Max Reinhardt at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin as a composer and pianist (1920-32) before returning to Sofia where he was appointed reader and then Professor (from 1940) of Piano, Chamber Music and Composition at the State Academy of Music, which after his death was named after Vladigerov. He composed in a variety of genres and was author of an opera, ballet, symphony music, five piano concertos, two violin concertos, chamber music, 38 transcriptions of instrumental pieces for instrument and piano, fifty folksong concert arrangements for voice and piano/orchestra, 20 songs for voice and piano, ten choral songs with piano/orchestral, music for the theatre performances of the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, the Theater in der Josefstadt in Vienna, and the National Theatre in Sofia. The world became acquainted with Pancho Vladigerov’s work in the 1920s when his pieces were published by the Universal Edition Publishers in Vienna and were released on LP by the German recording company Deutsche Grammophon before being performed throughout Europe and the USA. As a pianist and composer he toured most of the European countries performing his own works.
In 1969 he was awarded the Herder Prize. An international competition for pianists and violinists held in Shumen is named after him. The Bulgarian recording company Balkanton released an edition of his stage and symphony music in four sets of seven LPs each. Several works of his such as the Bulgarian Rhapsody Vardar are considered to be emblematic of the Bulgarian music. His house in Sofia (at no.
10, Yakubitsa) has been transformed into a museum The House Museum in Sofia. His son Alexander Vladigerov (1933 - 1993) and grandchildren Pancho Vladigerov Jr., Alexander Wladigeroff, and Konstantin Wladigeroff have became respected musicians in their own right. Famous pianists such as Marc-Andre Hamelin and Alexis Weissenberg have his piano works in their repertoire and some have been recorded. In the autumn of 2006 Pancho Vladigerov Jr. founded The Intellectual Legacy of Pancho Vladigerov Foundation. The foundation’s activities are based on its main aim and task to preserve, protect and popularise Pancho Vladigerov’s tangible and intangible heritage.
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