site.btaHall at Sofia Opera and Ballet Named after Trifon Silyanovski
A hall at the Sofia Opera and Ballet will be named after composer, pianist, musicologist, music philosopher and theosophist Trifon Silyanovski (1923-2005). Some of his works will be performed at an inaugural event for the hall on December 12.
He composed three symphonies, three concertos for string orchestra, a piano concerto and other orchestral works, choral opuses, chamber and solo songs. He also authored books, studies and over 70 unpublished works on philosophy, aesthetics, theology, art history and music interpretation.
Silyanovski was born in Sofia. He studied Latin and organ, finished a classical secondary school and studied art history under Prof. Hans Sedlmayr in Vienna. He was admitted to the Vienna Conservatory where he studied with German pianist Wilhelm Kempff.
World War II had not finished yet when he returned to Sofia and graduated, all at the same time, in law from Sofia University, composition at the Music Academy and piano under Prof Dimitar Nenov. After the communist takeover of 1944, his career was interrupted and his music was banned until 1959. He was persecuted by the authorities on political grounds and was sent to forced labour camps; he was jailed afterwards and was exiled from Sofia.
After communist leader Georgi Dimitrov's death in 1949, a group of musicians were looking at portraits of Lenin, Dimitrov and Stalin. Silyanovski commented: "The first two are gone, I wonder when the third one will go." An informer had him arrested the very next morning and he spent three years (1949-51) in forced labour camps, where he was subjected to all kinds of abuse, including being forced to dig his own grave.
After his release from prison in 1952, Silyanovsky worked as a gravedigger, played music in restaurants and taught private lessons in Greek, Latin and piano. He then composed his First Symphony, Variations on a Theme by Bach, the First Concerto for String Orchestra, five songs for soprano and piano (left hand) based on poems by Rilke, and a Missa Ordinaria.
In 1958, Silyanovski met with Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who had been invited by the Union of Bulgarian Composers. Shostakovich highly praised Silyanovski's Second Symphony.
In 1959, Silyanovsky was allowed to work as an accompanist at Sofia Opera, but when he returned an order they wanted to confer on him, he was exiled to the southern town of Smolyan.
In 1973, Trifon Silyanovsky and Plamen Kartaloff founded a Chamber Opera in the southwestern town of Blagoevgrad. Silyanovski was its music director until 1982.
Between 1982 and 1991, he taught score-reading and obbligato piano at Plovdiv's Academy of Music, Dance and Visual Arts. He was made an extraordinary professor at the State Music Academy in 1997.