Dobri Khristov

Khristov, Dobri


Born Dec. 14, 1875, in Varna; died Jan. 23, 1941, in Sofia. Bulgarian composer, choral conductor, musicologist, and teacher. Member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (1929).

Khristov studied under A. Dvorak at the Prague Conservatory. He returned to Varna in 1903 and took up residence in Sofia in 1907. He conducted various choral groups, including workers’ choruses and church choirs, and he taught at the State Musical Academy from 1922 to 1933.

A seminal figure in Bulgarian classical vocal music, Khristov paved the way for the development of a national style in Bulgarian classical music. He compiled and researched musical folklore of the Bulgarians and other Balkan peoples. A folkloric influence is evident in such works as the program overture Ivailo (1907), The Tutrakan Epic (1917), the choral ballad Dobrinka and the Sun (1931), and in various choral suites, the so-called veaki (wreaths).

Khristov, one of Bulgaria’s first musicologists, gave in his works a scholarly account of the rhythmic features of Bulgarian folk songs and dances, such as the use of asymmetric rhythmic patterns. Khristov’s theoretical works include The Rhythmic Bases of Folk Music (1913) and The Technical Structure of Bulgarian Folk Music (1928).


Krustev, V. Dobri Khristov. Sofia, 1961.
Krustev, V. Dobri Khristov. Sofia, 1975.


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In Varna the Bulgarian musical society "Gusla" was founded in 1899, "to remove the influence of the Greek music society from the cultural life of the town and confirm Bulgarian national traditions" a quotation from the young Dobri Khristov, later one of Bulgaria's foremost composers and musicologists.