A work like this is written only once in a hundred years! Schostakovitch on Vladigerov's symphony Jewish poem
Pancho Vladigerov is one of those composers, who are highly acclaimed in their home countries but neglected by the rest of the musical world.
Pancho Vladigerov was born in 1899 in Zürich, Switzerland, his father a bulgarian lawyer, his mother from a family of russian jews related to Boris Pasternak.
Pancho Vladigerov and his twin brother Luben grew up in Shumen/Bulgaria and showed musical talent already in their very early years. At the age of eleven Vladigerov began studying composition in Sofia with Dobri Hristov, the most distinguished composer of his generation.
Vladigerovs mother managed to obtain a governmental scholarship for him and his twin brother to study in Berlin. Pancho was studying composition with Juon, Gernsheim and Georg Schumann as well as piano with Barth and Kreutzer.
After his graduation Vladigerov became music director at Deutsches Theater in Berlin and worked with the famous theatre director Max Reinhardt. For the occasion of the Berlin premiere of „Der Kreidekreis“, a chinese poetry inspired fairy tale stageplay by the german author Klabund, he wrote the incidental music including the „Kreidekreislieder“.
Because of the rising antisemitism in 1932 Vladigerov decided to return to Sofia where he was appointed professor in Piano, Chamber Music and Composition at the State Academy of Music, which is now named after him. He taught there for the next 40 years and became one if not the most influential bulgarian musician of all time.
His symphonie the „Jewish Poem“, composed in 1950, earned him the greatest honors, among them the admiration of Dmitri Shostakovitch, who exclaimed: “A work like this is written only once in a hundred years!“