Peter Kerkelov is a Bulgarian composer born in 1984 in Plovdiv to a Russian mother and a Bulgarian father.
Kerkelov’s music possesses ascetic sincerity and profound straightforwardness. Though gaming with repetitive overtone-based melodic structures with multiple, self-reflecting transmigrations, his works very often cross over the limits of mere sonic games and aim to the fields of philosophy, to those other art forms – elements of which he integrates in his conceptions.
Highlights in his list of works are:
- In 2018-2019, commission by State Opera-Plovdiv to write ‘The Pied Piper and the Cars‘ – Music theater-Ballet for children for soprano, bass, two choirs, wind instruments, percussion and electronics. On libretto by Dragomir Yossifov based on self-titled story by Gianni Rodari. Staged by the Russian choreographer Liliya Burdinskaya.
- In 2015, he wrote ‘Time Etudes‘ for orchestra, two choirs and voice solo, originally commissioned by Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France later on to be commissioned by Bulgarian National Radio.
- In 2017 he was commissioned by Apollonia Festival of Arts to compose ‘Windows and Oranges‘ for accordion and string orchestra. The piece was premiered by Krassimir Sterev (KLANGFORUM Wien) and Chamber Ensemble Sofia Soloists under Plamen Djouroff.The string quartet ‘Two Symphonies and Postumus‘ was commissioned by the Dutch Chamber Music Society on its 100th Anniversary, and was written for Ruysdael Kwartet, who premiered the work.
- In 2011, he composed ‘Attempt at Screaming‘ for ASKO/Schoenberg Ensemble.
As a part of 2010 “New York comes to The Hague” project, he wrote ‘HORO‘ for Bang on a Can-All Stars.
- In 2012, Kerkelov won 59th International Rostrum of Composers in Stockholm in “under 30” category with “Attempt at Screaming”
- In 2016, his ‘Time Etudes‘ received “Top 10 recommended work” in “General” category at 63rd International Rostrum of Composers in Wroclaw
- Finalist at Sentierri Selvaggi Composition Competition, Milano
- Scholarship from Richard-Wagner-Stipendienstiftung – Bayreuth
- Twice awarded “Grant for artistic high education” by Schuurman Schimmel-van Outeren Stichting
- Twice awarded “Scholarship for classical music” by Raina Kabaivanska Foundation
Peter Kerkelov is a freelance composer since 2012. As of 2017 Kerkelov is represented exclusively by the Dutch Contemporary Music Publishing House Donemus.
Currently, he is Lead Research Assistant in Ethnomusicology at Institute of Art Studies in Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Previously he was appointed as a teacher in Counterpoint and Orchestration at AMDFA and served as “expert stage activity” and music score librarian at State Opera-Plovdiv. Prior to that, he was appointed as a classical guitar teacher at National School of Music and Dance Arts “Dobrin Petkov”, Plovdiv.
Previous projects include a commission by Apollonia Festival of Arts-Sozopol, Bulgaria for KLANGFORUM Wien member and accordionist Krassimir Sterev and Sofia Soloists; a commission by Ensemble CRUSH (Germany): commission by ppIANISSIMO Festival. Other commissioners in the past include Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Dutch Chamber Music Society, Trio Imàge (Germany), Ensemble KLANG, Royal Conservatoire The Hague among others.
Kerkelov’s music has been performed in Bulgaria, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Russia, Armenia and the USA in distinguished venues such as Konzerthaus Wien, Gaudeamus Music Week, BOZAR Brussels, Teatro Massimo, Palermo and the annual New Bulgarian Music Preview in performances by Asko/Schoenberg Ensemble, “Bang on a Can All-Stars”, Ensemble PHACE (Austria), Ensemble “Musica Nova-Sofia”, Sofia Soloists with Krassimir Sterev, Ruysdael Kwartet (The Netherlands), Antonii Baryshevskyi (Ukraine), Hayk Melikyan (Armenia) among others.
Next to that he has a fruitful collaboration with Bulgarian National Radio, where up to date he has recorded: ‘Time Etudes‘ with the Orchestra and Choir of BNR with Israeli soprano Reut Rivka Shabi under Dragomir Yossifov; ‘Attempt at Screaming‘ with Ensemble Music Nova-Sofia under Dr. Yossifov; ‘Two Symphonies and Postumus‘ with string quartet FROSCH (Bulgaria).
Peter Kerkelov holds a PhD degree in Ethnomusicology from Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Master’s degree in composition from Royal Conservatoire, The Hague where he studied under Martijn Padding and Guus Janssen, as well Master’s in composition from Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts (AMDFA), Plovdiv, Bulgaria, where his teacher was prof. Dimitar Tapkoff. From AMDFA he has Bachelor in classical guitar and music pedagogy with teachers Milena and Valentin Valchev.
In 2006-2007, as an exchange student he studied composition under prof. Dan Dediu in National University of Music, Bucharest, Romania.
Selected for masterclasses with Louis Andriessen, David Lang and Kaija Saariaho.