Atanas Ourkouzounov is one of most interesting personalities in the Bulgarian contemporary music. Guitar player and composer with a rich musical background, he is considered one of the main authors in the domain of the new generation’s music for guitar.
The wide inspiration of his musical language is the result of a subtle use of the forms, an endless and original rhythmical search and a colour work which leads the guitar to explore new territories and sonorities. In his compositions we can find charm and vitality of the Balkan’s music at the same time bright and ‘stormy’, dreamy and rhythmic, tender and tenacious.
Atanas Ourkouzounov grew up in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he began guitar studies with Dimitar Doitchinov. Starting from 1992, he continued his studies in France with Arnaud Dumond, Alexandre Lagoya and Olivier Chassain. He studied guitar, chamber music, analysis, ethnomusicology and improvisation at the Paris Conservatory and graduated in 1997 with unanimous vote the first prize in guitar.
As composer he has been awarded with several prizes (« Michele Pittaluga – Città di Alessandria » – Italy, 1997 – ; « Paolo Barsacchi » – Italy, 1997 – ; « Il fronimo – Suvini Zerboni » – Italy, 1998 – ; « Ciudad de Montevideo » – Uruguay, 1998 – ; « Carrefour mondial des guitares » – Martinique, 1998-).
Ourkouzounov has written over 80 works for guitar—solos, duos, trios, quartets, instrumental ensembles, and two concerti—a number of which have won important prizes, and a majority of which have been published by leading publishers (Doberman-Yppan , Henry Lemoine).
Several internationally recognized performers have played his works. Among them Zoran Dukic, Denis Azabagic, Scott Tennant, Shin-ichi Fukuda, Alberto Vingiano, Eduardo Isaac, Pablo Marquez, Antigoni Goni, Duo Gruber-Maklar, Miscelanea Guitar Quartet, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Thibault Cauvin, Dimitri Illarionov, Jérémy Jouve , Carlos Perez, Juan Carlos Laguna , Thomas Muller-Pering, Duo Palissandre, Ensemble Nomad, Patrick Kearney, etc.
Atanas Ourkouzounov performs widely as soloist and with the Japanese flautist Mie Ogura. In addition to seven CDs on which Ourkouzounov plays, more than 50 CDs of his music performed by others are currently available.
Ourkouzounov is also in demand as a teacher and juror at conferences and conservatories in Europe, USA, Canada, China and Japan and he holds a full-time position at the Conservatoire “Maurice Ravel” in Paris.