Paliev, Dobri

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Dobri Paliev


Born: 1928

Died: September 1997

Country: Pernik, Bulgaria

Studies: Music Academy, Sofia

Teachers: Ivan Zagorsky


A Performer, author, instructor, explorer; a versatile and creative personality who gained international renown, as well as an esteemed and loved individual… He started appearing in musical performances from an early age, playing the accordion, trumpet, drums, conducted the student’s orchestra, at his high school organized a jazz band called The Jazz of the Ambitious. As a student in the class of Ivan Zagorski at the Academy of Music he became a Timpanist soloist at the Bulgarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and in addition played the xylophone at the Musical Theater (he was Bulgaria’s first performer on the xylophone and vibraphone), making a very strong impression on some of the greatest conductors of his time with the virtuosity, artistry and precision of his playing. He also gained renown as a chamber performer – xylophonist in the Instrumental trio together with Tinko Stanchev (piano) and Peter Penchev (accordion), with whom he performed concerts around Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, France, Germany, Serbia, Albania, Greece, Israel, Syria, Russia and others. In collaboration with various ensembles, he has performed in more than 30 countries around the world, and in 1978 he was invited by Jean Batin to substitue him as a section leader in the Symphony Orchestra of Strasbourg.

“Prior to Paliev, we had no idea of the potential of percussion instruments and that one could achieve such virtuosity of them…”- observed Emil Tabakov in one of his interviews.

With the art of his performance Dobri Paliev changed the perception of the possibilities of percussion instrumentarium and with more than four decades of pedagogical work at the Music School in Sofia and the National Academy of Music not only created the Bulgarian percussion school but in very short time established its high international reputation. Hundreds of his pupils from Bulgaria and various other countries won prizes at the most prestigious competitions and today are prominent performers and teachers all over the world. The Polyrhythmia Percussion Ensemble, which was formed on his initiative in 1976, quickly established itself and gained reputation as an original phenomenon in Bulgaria’s concert routine, one of five percussion ensembles across Europe, performing to great acclaim around the world and inspiring the creation of many a concert works for percussion by composers like Vasil Kazandjiev, Lazar Nikolov, Ivan Spasov, Emil Tabakov, Nikolay Stoykov, Dimitar Hristov, Vladimir Panchev, Tsenko Minkin, Rumen Balyozov, Hristo Yotsov Rumen Boyadzhiev, Emil Hadjiev, Boris Dinev, Georgi Tantchev, Siegfried Fink and others. “As a professor in Sofia’s State Academy of Music, Dobri Paliev created a unique percussion school at world level. Those who completed their education in his classes at the high school and at the Academy, acquired artistic universalism – they mastered to perfection and with virtuosic facility the performance on all percussion instruments from the ample scope of the modern instrumentarium”- wrote Academician Prof. Vassil Kazandzhiev in 2002 in his assessment in favor of Prof. Paliev’s nomination for accession to the Hall of Fame of the Percussive Artist Society (PAS).

Paliev bequeathed a creative heritage of tremendous scope – instructive pieces for each of the main percussion instruments and for various percussion chamber ensembles, the substantial compositions “Reminiscences 1876”, The Wheel of Life”’ Folklore Scenes”, the musical tales “Musical Journey”, “Monkey Story”, “The Little Diver”, “Christmas Chants”, transcriptions of Classical opuses…

Twenty-two music collections of his pieces were published by world renowned publishers such as J. M. Fuseau (France), N. Simrock (Hamburg, London), Otto Wrede (Wiesbaden), Honey Rock (USA), Zimmermann (Frankfurt). His seminal work Methodology of percussion performance instruction and his doctor’s thesis Bells, Clappers and Shepherd’s bells From Bulgaria was published in print by Música Publishing House, together with a set of four gramophone records by the Bulgarian recording label Balkanton, while his studies Percussion Instruments in Bulgaria and Bulgarian Rhythmic were published in Percussive Notes, the journal of the Percussive Artist Society of the United States (PAS).

His high international renown as a musician and instructor secured him the invitation from the Strasbourg Conservatory to teach and to introduce his pedagogical system there, He founded the French Summer Academy in Saint Sauvé, the International Summer Academy in Varna, conducted master classes at the Himmelberg Academy, at the Conservatories in Luxembourg, Würzburg, Hamburg, Thessaloniki, seminars in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Greece, Russia and Poland; participated on the panels of some of the most renowned international competitions in Saint-Sauvé, Geneva, München, Luxembourg among other, and invariably receiving the love and admiration of colleagues, students and audiences…

Coming as what was recognized for a well-deserved acknowledgement, his 2002 nomination for the PAS Hall of Fame was accompanied by the superlative reviews written by the likes of Siegfried Fink, Jacques Delacluse, Jean-Josepf, Robert van Saise, Evelin Glenie, Erol Rakipov, Paul Mootz and many other renowned Bulgarian and world musicians.

“It is our request that the great Bulgarian percussionist, performer, composer and our teacher Dobri Paliev to be included as a competent member of the PAS. He has bequeathed a lot to the world and for that reason we would like for his teaching to remain for the future generations, as well as his contribution to the development of percussion instruments all over the world…” Tomoyuki Okada, Director of the Institute for research and study of percussion instruments, Japan, Tokyo.[1]

Works for Percussion

12 Pièces pour caisse claire et piano - Snare Drum; Piano
13 Variation of "Lie Tudora" - Marimba
13 variations on Tudora - Marimba
19 Pièces Bulgares, Serie I - Timpani; Piano
19 Pièces Bulgares, Serie II - Timpani; Piano
19 Pièces Bulgares, Serie III - Timpani; Piano
20 Pieces for Snare Drum - Snare Drum
Cheerful Polka - Xylophone; Piano
Chepherd's and Horo - Xylophone; Piano
Contest & Recital Solos for Keyboard Percussion - Mallets
Curved Horo - Xylophone; Piano
Dance of the Ladi-Bird - Vibraphone; Piano
Danse Diabolique (Paliev) - Percussion Trio
Duo de Peaux, Series 1-6 - Percussion Duo
Duo de Peaux, Series 7-12 - Percussion Duo
Duo de Peaux, Series 13-18 - Percussion Duo
Duo de Peaux, Series 19-24 - Percussion Duo
Duo de Peaux, Series 25-30 - Percussion Duo
Duo de Peaux, Series 31-35 - Percussion Duo
Embroidery - Xylophone; Piano
Ensemble percussion duo no 5 - Percussion Duo
Excursion - Xylophone; Piano
Five Studies - Timpani
Flight to the Stars - Multiple Percussion
Folk Scenes - Percussion Sextet
Folk Suite for Solo Snare Drum - Snare Drum
Folklore Suite - Timpani
Four Pieces - Percussion Quartet
Impression - Percussion Trio
In the Mood (Paliev) - Multiple Percussion
Jeux pour trois - Percussion Trio
Kartini Ot Bulgaria (Pictures of Bulgaria) - Percussion Quartet
Kopanitza - Xylophone; Piano
March (Paliev) - Xylophone; Piano
Merry-go-round (Paliev) - Xylophone; Piano
Mirage (Paliev) - Vibraphone
Moods (Paliev) - Multiple Percussion; Piano
Pastoral and Lively Horo - Xylophone; Piano
Pictures from Strasbourg - Percussion Sextet
Piece (Paliev) - Xylophone; Piano
Pieces for Vibraphone by Bulgarian Composers - Vibraphone
Play (Paliev) - Vibraphone
Polka (Paliev) - Xylophone; Piano
Race - Xylophone; Piano
Reminiscence - Percussion Quartet
Reminiscences of Bulgarian Folk Melodies - Percussion Duo; Marimba; Vibraphone
Right Horo - Xylophone; Piano
Scenes from Bulgaria - Percussion Duo; Marimba; Vibraphone
Scherzo (Paliev) (Xylophone) - Xylophone; Piano
Scherzo (Paliev) (Trio) - Percussion Trio
Seven Pieces for Snare Drum with Piano - Snare Drum; Piano
Snowflake - Xylophone; Piano
Solo and Ensemble Pieces for Percussion by Bulgarian Composers - Multiple Percussion
Systematical Course for Snare Drum - Snare Drum; Piano
T-84 - Drum Set; Piano
Tarantelle (Paliev) - Xylophone; Piano
The Bright Bird - Xylophone; Piano
The Little Bear - Xylophone; Piano
The Old Valse - Vibraphone; Piano
The Wheel of Life - Percussion Sextet
Train - Xylophone; Piano
Trio (No 3) - Percussion Trio
Valse (Paliev) - Vibraphone; Piano