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Bust-monument of Philip Kutev

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Filip Kutev Tenev (1903-1982) stands as a renowned Bulgarian composer and conductor, celebrated for establishing the largest Bulgarian folklore ensemble, which now bears his name. Born on June 13, 1903, in Aitos, he embarked on his musical journey by studying the violin under Prof. Hans Koch in 1922. He completed his education at a music school in 1926 and later graduated from the Pedagogical Faculty of the Conservatory in 1930.

Kutev commenced his career as a bandmaster, initially with the military brass band of the 24th infantry regiment in Burgas, succeeding Georgi Shagunov. He later directed the 6th infantry regiment’s band in Sofia. His compositions hold a significant place in Bulgarian music, including works like the “Bulgarian Rhapsody,” originally written for brass band and later adapted for a symphony orchestra.

In 1940, his symphonic poem “German” debuted, followed by the premiere of his “First Symphony” in 1950. Kutev’s vision to transform Bulgaria’s folklore traditions into musical and stage forms culminated in the creation of a professional Bulgarian folk ensemble after the Russian ensemble “Pyatnitsky” toured Bulgaria in 1949.

He’s also known for founding the “Nightingale Nights” folk festivals in Aitos. His impactful legacy is honored through institutions like the “Filip Kutev” National School of Folk Arts, established in 1967, bearing his name in recognition of his immense contributions to Bulgarian folklore.

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