10 Jun 2021


According to UNESCO, St John Koukouzelis was born in 1280 and in 2020, the 740th anniversary of the eminent composer, singer, pedagogue and reformist was celebrated. On this occasion, a new book of studies on his work, St John Koukouzelis: Personality, Oeuvre, Epoch was launched on the eve of the Day of the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius, of education and culture and of Slavic literature.

The book was published by the University of Sofia Press in cooperation with the University’s Faculty of Theology and with the support of the Institute of Art Studies, Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the blessing of His Holiness Neophyte, Patriarch of Bulgaria and Metropolitan Bishop of Sofia. The latest scientific findings of distinguished medievalists from Bulgaria, Greece and Italy with regard to the studies of the personality, oeuvre and the time of the great musician were published.

The discussed problematics of his extraordinary figure is vast and complex, including not only the field of music, but also liturgics, theology, philology, fine arts, general history, palaeography, source studies, and archaeogeography, focused not on a single national culture as the work of St John Koukouzelis goes beyond the rigid regional geographic boundaries, fitting into the global eternal heritage, bequeathed to us by the Byzantium-Slavic civilization that spread as far as Western Europe. His work has preserved its merits up until today, and for the Bulgarian music too, in which multiple chants are designated as ‘Bulgarian’, linked to his name and the names of his closest companions and followers, bridging the past and the present.