Nikolai BADINSKI Nikolai Badinski was born in Sofia , Bulgaria on 19 December 1937 and began violin lessons at the age of six. His attempts at composition also date from an early age (including an opera in which the orchestra consists of violins and percussion). He completed the Academy of Music , Sofia in 1961. From 1962 until 1976 he lived in East-Berlin, where he attended Masterclass for Composition at the Academy of Arts (1967-70). Also Masterclasses at the Accademia Musicale, Siena , Italy 1975 and 1976. Badinski founded and directed the Chamber Ensemble „G.F.Haendel“ and a String Quartet in East Germany and worked as composer, docent, soloist, concertmaster, special advisor for musical education. In 1976 he escaped to the West. Participated actively in the Darmstadt International Courses for New Music (working with Ligeti, Halffter, Stockhausen, Xenakis and Kagel ) also giving lectures and several of his compositions were performed there. He has been guest professor at the Universities of Stockholm and Copenhagen , and lectured in several European countries, also visiting professor in Stanford University , USA . For many years he has worked intensively with various groups, seeking new ways to activate music listeners. He is a member of International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) German Section, German Composer's Union, International Haendel Society, International Richard Wagner Union and since 1983 Member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities ( Paris ). Performances of his works and composer portraits of him had been broadcasts throughout Europe, the USA and Asia . Some of his works have been performed by ensembles such as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Berlin, Symphony Orchestra of the Südwestfunk in Baden-Baden, Adritti String Quartet London, the Philharmonic Octet Berlin, Ensemble of the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Choir of Radio France, the Nederland Vocaal Ensemble in Hilversum, Camerata Academica Salzburg. He is author of articles, chiefly in contemporary music.

Badinski uses a richly varied palette of compositional devices in his music, without associating himself with any particular school, method or trend in composition. Among others in his works he stylises or changes ( verfremdet) elements or micro-elements from Bulgarian and other Balkan folk music from various historical strata. He sees in every folk music a rich source for research and inspiration. The composer's musical aesthetics and creative work - above 140 works - also embraces new sound possibilities and their apperception, as seen for example, in his electroacoustic work „H 2 O (Water) Music“ . Among his compositions are ballets, three violin concertos, Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, Concerto for Harpsichord „Omaggio a Bach“, „Klavieriada“ - Concerto for Piano and „Piano-orchestra“, First Amekdil (Symphony) with Soprano, Second Amekdil (Symphony)„AaAaN“, „Reflections of the Wisdom” for S.,Bar.,Choir and Orch.”, „The Intoxicated Bat”, „Seven Memorial Stones” (Requiem), „Homage to Stravinsky“ for Strings, and further music for orchestra, „Meditations on Words and Songs of Solomon”, „Imaginary Relation to the Saga of Orpheus“,„The Ruins under Sofia“ - Octet, „Silenzio Disturbato“ - Sextet, three S tring Quartets, Wind Quintet and other chamber music for different groups as well as for solo instruments, the “Album for Organists (and…)”-„Mannigfaltigkeiten“(Diversities) , the Decipio series, Choral-Cycles „Martialphonien” for 12 Voices (Martialis) and „Le Bestiaire ou Cortège d'Orphée“ (Apollinaire), vocal, electroacoustic - „ Rotation” ( „ In Memory of a Cosmonaut”), „Homage to Kafka ”,

„Dostoevsky Reflections“, „ Phoenixe”, „ Sevtopolis” - and experimental music.

Honours and prizes include First Place at the 28 th International Competition for Composition, Viotti, Italy 1977, at the International Competition for Composers, Stockhausen, Italy 1978 and at the 29 th International Competition for Composers, Viotti, Italy 1978, International Trieste Prize for Symphonique Music, Italy 1979, and Prix du Rome (Villa Massimo) 1979/80, Prix de Paris 1982; invitations from the Electr. Studio Utrecht/NL (1983 and 1984). In 1985/86 invitation from the French government (scholar-ship) to Paris. Composer-in-Residence at the Djerassi Foundation, California in 1987.

1997 he was selected from “The International Board of Research in The American Biographical Institute” for “Man of the Year”.


Prominent per­son­alities of the international music life value his music. György Ligeti characterizes it as “very refined, very highly rated in its quality.” The ‘musical Pope' H.H. Stuckenschmidt praised in the ‘Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung' the “unmistakable personal language” of his music and wrote : “one is captivated until the end” . The notable musicologist, Carl Dahlhaus, has written that “Badinski combines a well- founded and many-sided musical education with an acute sense for contemporary tendencies; there is a balance between the inclination towards the experimental and an aesthetic conscience dedicated to structural unity.”

Painters in several countries - for instance J.C. Friedrich, Enzo Santini, I. Pavlov - have painted pictures based of his music. Art-films were created presenting the composer and his music (for example, TV of SWF Baden-Baden, Germany). Numerous CDs (and LPs) appear with his music.

Critical Reviews:

György Ligeti characterises Badinski ´s Music as „very refined, very highly rated in its quality“. (1980)


The German musicologist Prof. Carl Dahlhaus: „Badinski combines a well-founded and many-sided musical education with an acute sense for present tendencies; there is a balance between the inclination towards the experimental and an aesthetic conscience dedicated to structural unity“. (1979)


The ‘Neue Musikzeitung' (GFR, Febr. 1982) refers to „Omaggio a Bach“ as „an important repertoire contribution to the harpsichord music in the twentieth century“ .


„His music is far from mere contrivance and shows a true creative impulse...All these compositions, while uncompromisingly ‚modern', seem to aim at giving contemporary music a human voice...“

(London, July 1981 - ‘Record Reviews‘ )


„The Concerto (Violin Concerto Nr.3) was very successfully performed as world premiere with the Berlin Philarmonic Orchestra under Cristobal Halffter and Christiane Edinger as soloist.“

(‘Deutsche Tagespost‘, GFR - Nov. 1980)


The German musicologist and music writer Prof. H.H. Stuckenschmidt: „Der Solopart (Violinkonzert Nr. 3) ist extrem schwierig, aber aus dem Geist der Violine erfunden...der verteufelt schweren Novität erspielte sie (Chr. Edinger) einen Erfolg.“ (Frankfurt, Dec. 1980 - ‘Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung‘ )

(tr.: The solo part of the violin concerto Nr. 3 is extremely difficult, but springs from the spirit of the violin - Christiane Edinger´s performance of this fiendishly challenging innovative piece was a complete success.)


„Nikolai Badinski has created a remarkable and rich oeuvre.“ (Paris, April 1982 - Radio France)


„His music has really a truly new sonority.“ (Rome, June 1981 - Radio RAI )


„Badinski´s music displays an exciting richness of invention, an abundance of constructive
solutions and a securely mastered professional knowledge.”

(Sofia, 1974 - Prof. Letschev, ‘Musical Weeks of Sofia‘ )


„Nikolai Badinski is a recognised composer of serious music; his works extend from symphonies over violin concertos, ballet music and small orchestral pieces, to chamber music for sometimes unusual instrumentation.“ (Zürich, 1974 - ‘Die Tat‘ )


„A concert violinist himself, the composer is superbly acquainted with the play-technical and sound possibilities of the solo instrument…“ (to the Violin Concerto Nr.2) (Berlin,1974 - ‘Musik und Gesellschaft‘ )


„In the concert, the performance of the violinist Nikolai Badinski, accompanied by the orchestra, was received with great applause.“ ( ‘Der Neue Weg‘ - 1966, GDR)


„Badinski shaped the violin part with soft elegance and mobility.“

(‘Mitteldeutsche Neueste Nachrichten‘ - 1967)


„Fin da piccolo Nikolai Badinski è stato musicista, forse per tradizione familiare o come un vero ‘enfant prodige‘ se oggi ha già una fama europea…” (Florence, 1974 - ‘La Nazione‘ )