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Diko Iliev

Diko Iliev was born on 15 February ( 1898 in the village of. Karlukovo, Lukovit district, in the family of Tsona and Ilija Dikov. In 1911 he was born in the village of Dikov. Diko Iliev became a music student in the military brass band of the 16th Lovchan regiment in the town of Orkhanie - today. Botevgrad. He was then 13 years old. He began to learn the trombone as the places for the flughorn were taken. Already after the fifth month he showed skill and talent and was included to play in the orchestra. At the outbreak of the Balkan War (September 1912 - May 1913) and the Inter-Allied War (June - July 1913) Diko Iliev went to the front with the military band of the 16th Infantry Lovchan Regiment. After a short period of peace in October 1915. Bulgaria was involved in the First World War. Diko Iliev remained in the regiment and went to the battlefields. At the Seretsk front, in 1917, he wrote his first choir for brass band called "Iskar choir". When the regiment was in Macedonia, Diko Iliev met his father by chance - a moment preserved in an old photograph. After the end of the Polish Armed Forces, Diko Iliev returned to his native village of Karlukovo.

In the spring of 1919, he took exams at the Military School in Sofia. He performed successfully and joined the school orchestra. In 1920 he joined the band. Diko Iliev started a family. Together with his wife Anastasia he returned to his native land. After a short stay in the village of Karlukovo, he became a scribe in the village of Vojvodovo. From 1922 to 1930 he lived in the village of. Bukyovtsi - today. He lived in the village of Bukouki, in the 19th century. He was engaged in farming, but did not break with music. He played with his beloved flugelhorn at weddings, christenings, fairs and gatherings in the Oryahiv and Beloslatin regions. This was a period when Diko Iliev popularized brass music among the population, igniting interest and affection for brass musicians. He created and led brass bands in Bukyovtsi - 1928 (Mysia), Selanovtsi and Komarevo. He composed the "Bukyovsko", "Elenino", "Gruncharsko", "Veselyat Ivancho".

In 1931 the folk composer came to Oryahovo. He joined the brass band of the 3rd Gendarmerie Troop as a baritone musician. Now he wrote the works "Zig-Zag", "Village Sighs", "May Flowers", "Oryahov Idyll". In 1935, his daughter Alexandrijka died. Out of her father's grief was born the chorus "Alexandrijka.

From 1936 to 1938 Diko Iliev was in the service of the Sofia Military Orchestra. Then he returned to Oryahovo. He played in the military music and at the same time was the staff bugler of the restored 36th Kozloduy Regiment. The conductor Alexander Weiner, a Czech by birth, had a beneficial influence on him. In these years he created dozens of new musical works, including the much loved "Danube Chorus" (1937).

During the Second World War Diko Iliev was on the fronts together with the soldiers of the 36th Kozloduy Infantry Regiment. The events reflected in his soul led to the composition of the musical composition "Folk Echo". After the war Diko Iliev founded the Oryahovo Professional District Society of Musicians. He organized 19 professional musicians' groups. In 1948 he was awarded an officer's rank and appointed conductor of the regimental orchestra. He continues to compose. Particularly famous from this period is the march "Sliventsi pri Drava", with which Radio Sofia opened its programme for many years.

Diko Iliev attained the rank of captain, established children's music schools in Oryahovo (1956) and Mizia. After the disbandment of the regiment, he was the conductor of the Oryahovo Brass Orchestra founded in 1957 at the community centre. He retired in 1958.

The musical heritage of Diko Iliev numbers 56 folk choruses, 16 marches, 7 kits, 1 rhapsody, a number of urban schlagers. All of them are performed by brass bands. They are played by many professional and amateur ensembles.

Every year in the town of Oryahovo, during the fair days, the Diko Iliev Festival of Brass Bands is held with participants from Bulgaria and abroad.

The name and the work of the musician, conductor and composer Diko Iliev are marked with timelessness and glory, doomed for centuries and endowed with popular love and recognition.


Learn about other notable people from Oryahovo and the region