- Maria Kostakeva
(b Plevnya, nr Drama, Jan 31, 1870; d Plovdiv, Jan 3, 1950). Bulgarian composer, conductor, pianist, and ethnomusicologist, one of the pioneers of professional music in Bulgaria. He received his musical education at the Prague Organ School, where he graduated in 1890. From 1894 he worked as a teacher in the King Alexander high school in Plovdiv. In 1896 he founded the Singing Society in Plovdiv, which he directed about 50 years. Between 1892 and 1898 he undertook folklore expeditions in Rodopi, Mittelforest, and Macedonia and recorded 2500 songs. In 1902 he became editor of the monthly Musicanthology. In 1921 he founded the first private music school, called Rodna pesen (‘Heimat song’), in Plovdiv and was its first director. He was among the first musicians to work professionally after Bulgaria's liberation from the Ottoman Empire in 1876. Like Dobri Khristov and other composers he collected previously unresearched folksongs from various regions of the country; 461 of these songs were published in the Bulgarian folklore anthology ...