Roussi Tarmakov

(b. 5 December 1949, Malko Tarnovo – d. 17 February 2011, Toronto, Ontario).

Bulgarian composer, later resident in Canada, of mostly orchestral and chamber works that have been performed in the Americas, Europe and elsewhere.

Mr. Tarmakov began to play piano at age five, but graduated from the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia. He then studied composition with Zdravko Manolov and piano with Ruzhka Charakchieva at the Pancho Vladigerov National Academy of Music in Sofia and earned his MMus in both subjects.

Among his honours were the Prix Reine Marie José in Geneva (1984, for Folk Music), a scholarship from the Stichting Gaudeamus in Amsterdam (1985), a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria (1991–92, for a stay at the Cité des Arts in Paris), and a prize in the competition TransforMusic in Budapest (2004, for With Feeling of the Beauty of the Tango). His music has been performed in Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Korea, Sweden, and Switzerland, including numerous times at the festival Musica Nova in Sofia and the festival Wien Modern, twice at the festival Moscow Autumn (1997, 2000) and once at the ISCM World Music Days (1997, Seoul).

He was also active in other positions. He worked as an executive producer for the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Sofia, a broadcast editor for Radio Bulgaria in Sofia, a répétiteur for the State Musical Theatre in Sofia, and a pianist for the Sofia Ballet School. He co-founded the section in Bulgaria of ISCM in 1991 and served as president of the financial board of the society of authors and composers MUSICAUTHOR in Sofia from 1991–94. In addition, he served as president of both the Society for Contemporary Music in Bulgaria and the steering committee of the festival Musica Nova in 2000–01.

He lived in Canada from 1999–2011 and was a dual citizen of Bulgaria and Canada from 2005–11.

In addition to the works listed below, he composed incidental music for stage productions.





Symphony, 1980

City Tradition Melodies, trumpet, orchestra, 1986

Country Music, 3 percussion, orchestra, 1987

Present, large orchestra, 1990

With Feeling of the Beauty of the Tango, amplified violin, orchestra, 1995, revised 2004


Folk Music, flute, clarinet, harpsichord, 2 violins, viola, cello, 1983

Rococo Music, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 1984

Italian Music, clarinet, piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, 1985

Music for Seven Virtuosi, oboe, clarinet, trombone, viola, cello, piano, percussion, 1987

Music for Wind Quintet, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 1988

Music for Eight Musicians, oboe, clarinet, trumpet, violin, cello, double bass, piano, percussion, 1989

Folk Magic, marimba, 1991

Music for Two, violin, timpani, 1994

A Little Thriller (with two Cadenzas and Finale), flute, harpsichord, 1995

Cadenzas and Ensembles, string quartet, 1996

There is Something, ...Inside Me..., clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, French horn, tuba, accordion, percussion, 2 violins, viola, cello, 2003


Folk Music, 6 female voices, 1987


Happening for a Single Singer, voice, 1992

Cantus Amoris, voice, clarinet, 1999 (also versions for voice, viola d'amore, 1999; voice, cello, 2001)


Sonatina, 1979

Minimal in G from 3/4 to 8/4 and...only 3/4 for the End, 1999


Music for Eight Musicians. (Musica Nova Sofia: MNS 0001, 1996)

A Little Thriller (with two Cadenzas and Finale). (Musica Nova Sofia: MNS 0004, 1999)