Prof. Deyan Pavlov, Ph.D.

Head of Department

The first steps towards establishing the Musical Theatre Department were made during the academic year of 1948/1949. The idea came from Prof. Georgi Zlatev-Cherkin, who was Director of the State Academy of Music between 1948 and 1954. He invited Dragan Kardzhiev, who was stage director at the Sofia Opera to teach acting. A graduate of the Frankfurt Music Academy, a respected and established director of numerous memorable productions – including shows in Bayreuth, he selected two other celebrated artist as drama professors – Mihail Yankov (a graduate of the Vienna Music Academy from Prof. Theo Lierhammer’s singing class, and Prof. Hans Duhan’s theatre class), and Stefka Atanasova (who graduated from Prof. Elena Angelova-Orukin’s Classical Singing class at the National Academy of Music and later specialized in Acting under Prof. Anna Bahr-Mildenburg in Vienna).

Later, additional coursers were introduced alongside the acting classes, such as Elocution, Plasticity, Historical Dance, Stage Makeup, Study of Styles, Fencing.

With the widened spectrum of courses taught, the new Opera and Stage Art Department was established in 1952, with Prof. Dragan Kardzhiev the first Head of Department. The conductors Asen Dimitrov and Atanas Margaritov were invited to teach a course on the specific work of conductors with singers (today, the course is called Opera Singing with Conductor).

Prof. Lyubomir Pipkov had a significant role in the development of the department in terms of academic, pedagogical and creative activities. He was responsible for creating the Training Opera Theatre (today, the Student Musical Theatre) in 1964, as a place where the students, with the help of their teachers – directors and conductors, could create complete stage productions.

In 1980, the department was renamed Musical Theatre Department. In 1991, a new degree course was introduced – Ballet Pedagogy, and later, another one – Ballet Directing.

Ballet Pedagogy is the first academic degree course in the history of Bulgarian dance for professional ballet teachers in the higher education institutions. Its founders were Prof. Petar Lukanov and the prima ballerina Assoc. Prof. Kalina Bogoeva.

In 1991, another degree course was introduced within the department – Musical Theatre Directing. It was founded by the acting teacher Prof. Pavel Gerdzhikov, and its students receive professional education as directors specialized in the various forms of musical theatre.



In 1964, Lyubomir Pipkov initiated the foundation of a Training Opera Theatre. It was a place where students – with the help of their professors as directors and conductors – could have regular stage appearances in the productions of various operas, operettas and musicals.

The Theatre’s first production was “Don Pasquale” by Gaetano Donizetti, which premiered on May 24th, 1964 at the Sofia Opera (conducted by Hristo Stanishev, directed by Mihail Yankov, stage design by Evgenia Raeva). Over the years, the Training Opera Theatre had performances on the stages of the Concert Hall of the Academy of Music, the Sofia National Opera, The State Musical Theatre, as well as in Vidin, Blagoevgrad, Sliven. Between 1980 and 1990, the Theatre had a lasting and fruitful cooperation with the Workers’ Opera in Sliven.

Throughout its history, the Training Theatre had a number of stage productions, including “The Abduction from the Seraglio” by Mozart (1968, Sofia Opera), “The Bartered Bride” by Smetana (1975, Sofia Opera), “The Marriage of Figaro” by Mozart (1977, Stefan Makedonski State Music Theatre, Sofia)“The Barber of Seville” by Rossini (1980, Sliven Workers’ Opera), “The Elixir of Love” by Donizetti (1981, Sliven Workers’ Opera), “A Beggar’s Opera” by B. Britten (1984, Sofia Opera), “The Consul” by Menotti (1987, National Palace of Culture, Sofia), “Trouble in the Monastery” by G. Kostov (1989, Blagoevgred Chamber Opera), “The Bat” by J. Strauss (1990, Sliven Workers’ Opera). The productions were conducted by Asen Naydenov, Atanas Margaritov, Radosveta Boyadzhieva, Lyuben Pintev, Ivan Vulpe, Nedyalko Nedyalkov, Boris Hinchev, and directed by Dragan Kardzhiev, Mihail Yankov, Vladimir Danovski, Stefan Trifonov, Petar Shtarbanov, Mihail Hadzhimishev and Pavel Gerdzhikov. These productions were the first stage experience for several generations of Bulgarian opera artists, who would later shine on prestigious opera stages around the world.

In recent years, productions of the Training Theatre include many classical and contemporary works, which bring the total number of musical works of art in the Theatre’s repertoire to over 100. A crucial role for the high professional and artistic level of the productions is played by the theatre’s conductors – Prof. Hristo Ignatov, Ph.D., Prof Ivaylo Krinchev, Ph.D., Assoc. Prof. Atanas Varadinov, and Assoc. Prof. Deyan Pavlov, Ph.D.

In 2012, the Training Opera Theatre was renamed to Student Musical Theatre in line with the widening of its repertoire to include musical works outside the opera genre. The Bulgarian National Academy of Music is one of the few educational institutions in the world to have a fully functioning representative training musical theatre stages.


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Prof. Ivaylo Krinchev, Ph.D.

Prof. Deyan Pavlov, Ph.D.

Assistant Boris Spasov

Assistant Vladimir Boshnakov



Acad. Plamen Kartalov

Prof. Pavel Gerdzhikov

Prof. Violeta Gorcheva, Ph.D.

Assoc. Prof. Alexander Tekeliev, Ph.D.

Assoc. Prof. Nina Naydenova, Ph.D.

Assistant Stefan Donev

Assistant Ognyan Draganov



Prof. Tsonka Velikova, Sc.D.

Assistant Marcho Apostolov




Prof. Ivelina Ivancheva

Assistant Nataliya Hristova-Krachanova, part-time lecturer


Jazz Dance

Chief Assistant Radoslav Radev, Ph.D.


Opera and Musical Theatre Writing

Prof. Boyanka Arnaudova


Musical Theatre Writing and Interpretation

Chief Assistant Emelina Gorcheva, Ph.D.


Ballet Pedagogy and Ballet Directing

Assoc. Prof. Kalina Bogoeva

Prof. Maria Ilieva, Ph.D.

Prof. Zhelka Tabakova, Ph.D.

Prof. Aneliya Yaneva, Sc.D., part-time lecturer

Assistant Bonka Matova, Ph.D., part-time lecturer

Assistant Nataliya Tsoneva, Ph.D., part-time lecturer

Assistant Angelina Gavrilova, part-time lecturer


Art History and Study of Styles

Senior Lecturer Penka Kazandzheva, Ph.D.



Mira Iskarova

Blaga Nikolova

Evelina Stanchovska

Maria Ruseva. Ph.D.

Daniela Yaneva

Tsvetomira Tsoneva

Yolanta Smolyanova


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Prof. Asen Dimitrov (1894 – 1960)

Atanas Margaritov (1912 – 1998)

Hristo Stanishev (1930 – ?)

Dragomir Nenov (1927 – 2016), part-time lecturer

Lyuben Pintev (1925 – 2000)

Mihail Lefterov (1907 – 2006)

Rositsa Batalova (1930 – 2015), part-time lecturer

Radosveta Boyadzhieva (1923 – 2018), part-time lecturer

Ivan Marinov (1928 – 2003)

Prof. Ivan Vulpe (1930 – 2003)

Prof. Boris Hinchev (1934 – 2008)

Prof. Nedyalko Nedyalkov (1935 – 2001)

Prof. Alexander Yosifov (1940 – 2016)

Prof. Hristo Ignatov, Ph.D. (1948 – 2019)

Assoc. Prof. Atanas Varadinov (1959 – 2016)



Prof. Dragan Kardzhiev (1896 – 1968)

Assoc. Prof. Mihail Yankov (1912 – ?)

Evstati Evstatiev (1912 – 1997), assistant director at the Student Opera Theatre

Mihail Hadzhimishev (1914 – 1987), part-time lecturer

Assoc. Prof. Stefka Atanasova (1918 – ?)

Prof. Petar Shtarbanov (1920 – 2005), part-time lecturer

Prof. Stefan Trifonov (1922 – 2007)

Vladimir Danovski

Prof. Svetozar Donev

Prof. Rumen Neykov, Sc.D.



Georgi Donchev (1884 – 1950) – opera and drama exercises

Dragomir Kazakov (1866 – 1948) – stage and drama exercises

Hrisan Tsankov (1890 – 1967)

Iliya Ivanov (1901 – 1958), part-time lecturer

Assoc. Prof. Gerda-Glocke Angelusheva (1909 – 1993), part-time lecturer – mise-en-scene

Gavraila Daskalova (1922 – ?)

Vanya Bachvarova



Nikolay Vekov (?)

Maria Dimova (1901 – 1944)

Anastas Petrov (1899 – 1978), part-time lecturer

Dora Mushanova (1920 – 1994), part-time lecturer



Natalya Yakovleva

Maria Angelova


Stage Makeup and Costume

Georgi Donchev (1884 – 1950)

Nikolay Vekov (?)

Vasil Sachanov (1920 – 2001), part-time lecturer


Elocution and Declamation

Nadezhda Kostova (1899 – ?)

Zdravka Stoynova (1904 – ?)

Nevena Hadzhieneva, part-time lecturer

Bocho Vasilev


Ballet Pedagogy and Ballet Directing

Prof. Petar Lukanov

Teodor Popov, Ph.D., part-time lecturer


Study of Styles

Anna Hadzhimisheva (1915 – 1994), part-time lecturer

Assoc. Prof. Radostin Chomakov (1937 – 2016)



Evstati Evstatiev (1912 – 1997), part-time lecturer


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Prof. Dragan Kardzhiev (1896 – 1968)

Prof. Lyubomir Pipkov (1904 – 1974)

Prof. Rumen Neykov, Sc.D.

Prof. Ivaylo Krinchev, Ph.D.

Assoc. Prof. Atanas Varadinov (1959 – 2016)

Prof. Violeta Gorcheva, Ph.D.

Prof. Deyan Pavlov