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Society for Contemporary Music in Bulgaria.
Last updated August 2001



About SCMB

The Society for Contemporary Music in Bulgaria (SCMB) was founded on October 12, 1990 by a group of composers, musicologists and performers, propagators of contemporary music, united by a common idea. The Society is registered according to the now acting legislature in the Republic of Bulgaria and has received the respective legitimacy with a decision of the Sofia City Court of April 4, 1991. SCMB is a non-government and non-profit public organization. According to Article 5, para 1, sub-para 1 and 2 of the Society's Statutes, its objectives are: "to create and propagate new music and the phenomena related to it, as well as the authors and other participants in these processes, regardless of their age, sex, race, nationality, social origin, social status, aesthetic ideas, ethnic, religious or political convictions", "the dialogue on the problems of new music and the contacts between it and the other arts". Article 5, paragraph 2 of the Statutes reads: "The objectives under para 1 herewith are ideal. They are to be realized exclusively through volunteer acts and are not of commercial character.


Since May 1992 SCMB has been regular member of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) and is in this sense its Bulgarian section. At present the Society has 73 regular members. SCMB was created and is currently an alternative per se of the Union of Bulgarian Composers which has existed for nearly five decades and which after the changes in 1989 is not always capable of answering the new public needs. Founder and first president of the Society was the prominent Bulgarian composer Georgi Tutev (1924-1994). Currently the management of the Society is carried out by a Executive Board including its President Mr. Roussi Tarmakov, a well-known composer, holder of the International Reine Marie Jose Award; Vice-President Prof. Dimitar Tzanev, pianist and pedagogue; Secretary-in-Charge Prof. Julia Tzenova, composer; Treasurer Mr. Vladimir Djambazov, composer; Member of the Executive Board Mr. Roumen Balyozov, composer.

For the period of its existence the Society, depending on its respective financial resources, has organised a number of separate concerts in close co-operation with the Bulgarian National Radio, one of its main partners. Since 1993 to the present moment the central annual professional event of the Society has been the first of its kind International Festival of Contemporary Music Musica Nova - Sofia, held during the second decade of June. 



The festival won recognition as a forum at which contemporary Bulgarian and world (mainly European) musical arts meet. Owing to the support of the Goethe Institute - Sofia, the French Cultural Institute - Sofia, the British Council - Sofia and other organizations, the festival has been visited by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Yannis Xenakis, Andre Boukoureschtliev, Anatol Vieru, Michael Finissy, Steven Gutman, the ensembles "Musica Temporale" (Germany), "B.E.A.M." (Switzerland), Vienna Saxophone Quartet, Mondrian Quartet (the Netherlands), etc. For these past years more than 500 works of well-established and young European and Bulgarian authors were performed at the festival and other concerts of the Society. In the festival took part the first performances of lot of works by Bulgarian composers from the young generations such Georgi Arnaoudov,Roussi Tarmakov,Krasimir TaskovThe festival is structured as a series of chamber concerts, lectures, seminars, to which at times there have been added workshops in electronic music, symphony concerts, cinema- and video-performances, installations, etc
In 1998, owing to a happy chance, the Society for Contemporary Music managed to organise and hold a Festival of 20th Century Piano Music which took place between March 24 and 28, 1998 in Sofia. As a result of the previous festivals and due to the sponsorship of the Soros Center for the Arts - Sofia, in 1996 the society released two CDs (not for sale) with Bulgarian works performed at Musica Nova - Sofia. In 1999 the SCMB continued its series of presenting works by Bulgarian composers and releases two new Musica Nova CD's due to the kind assistance of the Arts Development Fund of the Phare Culture Programme and the Bulgarian National Radio The everyday organisation and professional activity of the society is completely on a voluntary principle. The Society's address and its so-called "office" is in the home of its first President, Mr. Georgi Tutev. The financial means are provided completely by Bulgarian and foreign sponsors. Bulgaria's great economic difficulties in the past few years have a negative effect on the society's functioning. Since October 1997 there have been discontinued all concerts apart from the "Musica Nova - Sofia" Festival. Despite all the difficulties which are mainly of financial-and-organisational character, SCMB and its management continue their firm belief in the social use of the Society's functioning (and this is an opinion shared by a wide circle of colleagues and the broad public) which is a part of the indispensable bridge between the traditional European culture and the culture of the post-totalitarian East-European countries.