Bulgarian composer Todor Vasilev Gerov was born on July 14th, 1946 in the town of Montana, Bulgaria. Since early age he began studying accordion with Stephan Evlogiev in DMS (Children's Music School) "Dobri Hristov", Montana - an institution in which later he, himself would become a professor. During high school years he took private lessons in Sofia City with the famous musician and pedagogue Hristo Radoev, who influenced him greatly in mastering the instrument. Simultaneously, Todor Gerov directed his efforts towards acquiring proficiency in the playing of piano and synthesizer.

In his youthful years he founded an instrumental trio at the community cultural center in his town. The formation consisted of accordion, guitar and string bass. Later, the trio evolved into a bigger, combo orchestra, comprising of seven performers. Concurrently, Todor Gerov was completing stage appearances as a soloist, as well as an orchestra member in many other formations and he actively participated in the numerous musical events in the town and district of Montana.

In 1960 Todor Gerov became the first accompanist of the choir in SPTU "Hristo Michailov", conducted by Dimitar Iliev. During its long existence, the choir was often a winner of diverse Bulgarian and international awards.

Owing to his highly accomplished performance, in 1964 Todor Gerov became laureate of "the Second Republican Festival for Young Performers", held in Sofia.

In 1970 the State Attestation Commission at the ministry of Art and Culture awarded him the highest category - "leading soloist" - in accordion performance.

Even in these early for his music career years, Todor Gerov was entertaining a great popularity and respect among the music circles.

Together with his numerous concert performances, Todor Gerov continued his music education in accordion with the outstanding musician and pedagogue Georgi Galabov; his piano and harmony (theory) training with the eminent pianist, the founder of "Eolina" quartet, Stephan Trayanov; and his theoretical instruction with the exceptional pedagogue in the realm of solfeggio (sight singing and ear training) and music theory, Georgi Torbov.

In 1975 Todor Gerov graduated the Theoretical Faculty of the Bulgarian National Music Conservatory, Sofia, with special instrument piano. There, he studied music with such prominent pedagogues as ass. Prof. Zdravko Manolov, ass. Prof. Bentsion Eliezer, ass. Prof. Ivan Peev, ass. Prof. Manol Todorov, ass. Prof. Lidia Guleva, ass. Prof. Dimitar Ruskov, etc.

In 1974 Todor Gerov entered as a pianist at the Ensemble of the Military Forces, Gorublyane Division, Sofia. In the same time he became accompanist of the Division Choir and later became its conductor as well. Simultaneously, he was a leader of the Popular Music Orchestra in the same division. Up until 1980, T. Gerov developed competitive and concert activities with the aforementioned formations, whose performances were crowned with insignia of honor and a warm welcome from the audience.

A great deal of his music activity T. Gerov dedicated to the pop-variety genre. As an orchestra member and a leader of miscellaneous formations, he was touring in Bulgaria and in various countries, such as Germany, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Cyprus, Greece, Syria, Egypt, Israel, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and others.

He worked with significant Bulgarian singers, such as Lili Ivanova, Emil Dimitrov, Yordanka Hristova, Boris Godjunov, Mimi Nikolova, Petya Bouklieva and others, as well as with numerous soloists from different countries.

Together with his artistic appearances in the capital, Todor Gerov contributed to the development of the music culture in his hometown, Montana. There he participated as a soloist and arranger of the famous with its numerous republican and international awards mandolin orchestra at the trade-union House of Culture, conducted by Lubomir Kaltchev.

Substantial part in the professional music career of the composer is dedicated to numberless note and sound arrangements for different in their character and size orchestras - from arrangements for chamber music, to the rich jazz-symphonic melodiousness of the world repertoire: cinema, theater, musical.

Although that Todor Gerov entirely devoted himself to composition in his more mature years, he won the admiration of the audience even with his early works, such as the music for the theatrical "Who Said 'Meow'?" directed by Michail Ganev. The theatrical premiere was staged in January 1981 in the composer's hometown, Montana and later was performed in Sofia and other cities.

Todor Gerov's creative work encompasses diverse in its style and character solo instrumental and orchestra music, with priority given to the solo compositions for piano and accordion.

Todor Gerov's rich professional experience as performer and arranger, and last but not least, his method in listening and analysis of the music works, contributed to his growth in the sphere of classical music, jazz, popular music and folklore, which became and essential factor for the formation of his own artistic blueprint, distinguished for its rich stylistic variety and intriguing sounding.

A greater part of the composer's work is in the style of contemporary classic, while particular compositions carry the national Bulgarian intonation. Essential portion of his compositions are written in the variety style and others are structured by blending the intonation elements of different styles, masterfully and flowingly fusing in each other, thus creating a sense of unity of the entire compositional design.

Priority in the artistic style of the composer is given to: compactness of the form, rich melodic line and euphonic harmony, complicated when necessary, without outbursts in expendable avant-garde.

In most recent time T. Gerov once again turned his attention to the accordion, for which he wrote a significant number of solo and ensemble compositions, a great deal of which have been included in the repertoire of various music schools and universities in Bulgaria and abroad. Many of the compositions have been performed at Bulgarian and international performance competitions.

Todor Gerov's first composition for accordion is "the Flying Pigeon" and it was dedicated to his professor Georgi Galabov. The composition was included in G. Galabov's collection "Plays for Accordion".

Todor Gerov's compositions "Prelude", "Perpetolino" and the suite "Christmas" won the award for best compositions in solo and chamber music for accordion in the National Bistritsa Contest 2003. Later, the winning compositions were published by the Bulgarian Composers Assosiation.

Todor Gerov is engaged in artistic activity with ass. Prof. Petar Marinov and ass. Prof Georgi Mitev, Elena Melnik and Angel Marinov (pedagogues at the Academy for Music, Choreography and Art, in the town of Plovdiv); with the pedagogues Diana Kuneva and Nana Petrova, with ass. Prof, Dr. Elka Petkova (Southwest University, town of Blagoevgrad); with Diana Stancheva (State Music School "Lubomir Pipkov", Sofia City; with the pedagogues Rumen Todorov, Tsenka Todorova and Goranka Dimitrova (Music School, town of Pleven); with the pedagogue Antoaneta Prodanova (Music School at the community cultural center "Vasil Levski", the city of Sofia), as well as with many other Bulgarian pedagogues and performers.

Todor Gerov is a member of the founded by Georgi Galabov club "Accordionist" in the town of Bistritsa, in which he actively contributes to the development of the musical life.

Todor Gerov is one of the founders of the "Accordionist Association in Bulgaria", chaired by ass. Prof. Petar Marinov.

Todor Gerov is a member of "Music Author" (Organisation for Collective Management of Copyright), where he has registered his entire work.1

For more information go to Todor Gerov's website

To Email Todor Gerov:, or

Phone in Sofia, Bulgaria: 0889 839 769
Phone in the USA: 860-561-8917

1 The Copyright Law in Bulgaria became effective on August 01, 1993. It also relates to several international agreements for international protection of the copyright and the author's work. Berlin Convention (1886); Universal Convention for Copyright Protection (1952).
Dessislava Todorova Vassileva Vaughan(Dessie Vaughan) is a Bulgarian concert pianist as well as a piano, keyboard and voice teacher, who lives in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Performing experience

Stage appearances in the US

Stage Appearances in Europe, Africa and the Middle East

Teaching experience

Education and Achievements

Association Memberships

Writing Experience

Performing experience
Dessie has appeared on stage as a piano, vocal and synthesizer performer in the United States, Greece, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Cyprus, Switzerland, Israel, Egypt, Tunisia and Dubai and on various Mediterranean cruise liners. She has been performing classical music, Balkan folklore, jazz and popular music, both as a soloist and as a member of various bands and ensembles.

Dessie recorded the 12 pieces included in the “Nine Watermelons” CD, composed by Bulgarian composer Todor Gerov (Dessie’s father). The album was released by Riva Sound in 2002 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Dessie performed the compositions in concerts and for several radio stations, including Bulgarian National Radio. The pieces are currently available for download from iTunes (iTunes format) and (MP3 format) as individual pieces as well as an album.

Dessie is the co-founder of the piano and accordion “Buttons and Keys” duo, featuring Dessie Vaughan – piano and her good friend Mary Tokarski – accordion. Since the duo’s first appearance in June 2007, Dessie and Mary have performed for numerous concerts in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic states. Their repertoire includes original music by Bulgarian composer Todor Gerov (Dessie’s father) and a diverse selection from Baroque and Classical to Contemporary, Folk music and entertaining tunes.

Stage Appearances in the U.S.:
October 28, 2008, 15 Starkel Rd., West Hartford, CT. Buttons and Keys

October 10, 2008, The City University of New York (at 5th Avenue and 34th Street), New York, NY: A Sampler of New-Romantic and Neoclassical Works. (A premiere of the composition “Retrospection” by T. Gerov)

August 15, 2008, Rosslyn Ballroom, Holiday Inn/Rosslyn, Arlington, VA; American Accordionists’ Association 70th Anniversary, Buttons and Keys.

July 20, 2008, Whitney Center Recital Hall, 200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT, Buttons and Keys.

June 7, 2008, Whitney Center Recital Hall, 200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, CT, Music with Mary Tokarski; Music…Times Two! Butoons and Keys.

May 24, 2008, Cedar Mountain Commons, 3 John H. Stewart Drive, Newington, Connecticut, Buttons and Keys.

May 16, 2008, the Congregational Church of Burlington, Burlington, CT, Buttons and Keys.

April 6, 2008, Mid-Atlantic Music Teachers Association, Holiday Inn Hazlet, Hazlet, NJ.

March 30, 2008, Music Makers Academy, Manchester, Faculty Recital

March 27, 2008, Western Connecticut State University (Ives Concert Hall)

March 16, 2008, Connecticut Accordion Association, Spartan’s Restaurant, Plantsville, CT, Buttons and Keys.

March 5, 2008, Western Connecticut State University (Ives Concert Hall)

January 23, 2008, Nortfield Congregational Church, Weston, CT, Buttons and Keys.

August 13 – 18, 2007 2007 Accordion Coupe Mondiale – Washington, DC/Alexandria, VA, Buttons and Keys.

July 2007, Connecticut Accordion Association, Spartan’s Restaurant, Plantsville, CT, Buttons and Keys.

November 28, 2007, Western Connecticut State University (Ives Concert Hall )

15 June, 2007, the Blackstone Memorial Library, 758 Main Street, Branford: “Music with Mary…for my friends”, Buttons and Keys

March 29, 2007, Western Connecticut State University (Ives Concert Hall)

March 2, 2006, Westminster Presbyterian Church, West Hartford, Connecticut, a Musical Club of Hartford concert: “Flights of Fancy”

March 20, 2005, Wood Memorial Library, South Windsor, Connecticut: “Music through Time”

April 28, 2005, Westminster Presbyterian Church, West Hartford, Connecticut, a Musical Club of Hartford concert: “Music: Sounds of the Soul”

Stage Appearances in Europe, Africa and the Middle East
December 2000 – February 2001: Dubai, UAE

May 2000 – August 2000 – Louise Cruise Lines (Princess Cypria& Princess Marissa): Cyprus (Limassol), Israel (Haifa, Agdot), Egypt (Port Said), Lebanon (Beirut), Greece (Athens).

March 1999 – August 1999: Bulgaria, Sofia

October 1998 – December 1998: Tunis, Tunisia

June 1998 – August 1998: Tunis, Tunisia

September 1995 – May 1997: Bulgaria, Sofia

July 1995 – August 1995: Cyprus, Agia Napa

December 1994 –June 1995: Cyprus, Larnaka

April 1994– November 1994: Louis Cruise Lines (princess Amorossa): Cyprus (Limassol), Israel (Ashdod, Haifa), Egypt (Port Said, Cairo), Greece (Athens) and Greek Islands (Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, Patmos, Tinos, Mikonos, Agios Nikolaos)

October 1993 – Februatry 1993, Bulgaria, Sofia

July 1993 – August 1993: Switzerland, Sier, Sion

October 1992 – February 1993: Cyprus, Paphos

March 1992 - September 1992: Cyprus, Protaras

February 1991 – February 1992: Bulgaria, Sofia

November 1990 – December 1990: Macedonia, Ohrid, Vevchani

July 1990 – September 1990: Yugoslavia, Montenegro, Ulcinj

June 1990 – August 1990: Kiustendil, Bulgaria

January 1989 – May 1990: Mountain Resort Borovetz, Bulgaria

Teaching Experience
Dessie provides piano, keyboard, vocal, music theory and ear-training instruction out of her studio in West Hartford. She has been teaching people of all ages and levels of proficiency for the last 16 years.

Prior to her current private studio venture, Dessie’s teaching experience ranges from giving private lessons in Europe and the U.S. to providing High School education in Bulgaria, and piano and voice instruction at Music Makers Academy in Manchester, Connecticut (from 2004 to August 2008).

Education and Achievements
In 2009 Dessie graduated Summa Cum Laude in Music from Western Connecticut State University.

In 2005 she completed a Master’s degree in British and American Literature and Culture at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, Faculty of Classical and Modern Philology.

In 2002 she earned an English Language Educational Certificate with an emphasis on pedagogy at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski.

In 1999 Dessie enrolled in a music education program at Neofit Rilski University of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.

In 1999 Dessie completed a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Economics at the Slavonic University in Sofia, Bulgaria.

At the age of 18 Dessie was granted a certificate of qualification as a piano/orchestra soloist from the Bulgarian Committee of Culture – the highest performing proficiency level.

Dessie began her music education at the age of 7. Besides the lifelong guidance from Dessie’s father, composer Todor Gerov, she studied piano with the following educators (listed below in chronological order):

Professor Ivanova, Professor Gencheva, Professor Vera Panova, Associate Professor Bojana Trashlieva, Associate Professor Dr. Dinolov and Associate Professor Dr. Russel Hirshfield

In addition, she studied music theory, ear-training, sight singing and music history, jazz piano and history and other music subjects with the following educators:

Associate Professor Georgi Torbov, Associate Professor Russell Hirshfield, Associate Professor Marjorie Callaghan, Professor Kevin Isaacs, Professor Kerry Walker, Assistant Professor Jamie Begian, Professor Peter Tomlinson, Professor Gregg Winters, Associate Professor L. Jacobsen and others.

Association Memberships
Dessie is a member of the Musical Club of Hartford and Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild. She is an active judge for Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild piano and voice competitions.

Writing experience
Dessie published her first book, “The 50th State, Aloha – the Breath of Life” in Bulgaria (2006).

Thesis: “The Madwoman in the Attic. Victorian Stereotypes. Perceptions and Subversions” (2005)

Thesis: “Antropogenic Tourist Resources in Bulgaria” (1999)

Dessie submits articles and photographs on tourist and travel themes for the Bulgarian newspaper “Novinar”