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Bulgaria's emblematic jazz musician Simeon Shterev passes away at the age of 76

Photo: BGNES

On March 26, Prof. Simeon Shterev, flutist, composer and music professor and one of Bulgaria's greatest jazzmen, passed away at the age of 76. He was born on October 24, 1943 in Sofia. At the age of 10, he was a member of an accordion group in Sofia. He started his professional path in music as a classical musician, graduating from the National Academy of Music in Sofia, in the flute class of Prof. Yordan Kindalov. 

Simeon Shterev was one of the founders of the legendary Fusion'65 Jazz Quartet, set up at the idea of the prominent Bulgarian satirist Radoy Ralin. In 1967, this formation gained worldwide recognition by participating in the Montreux Jazz Festival, where the Bulgarian musicians received the Critics' Award. 

In 1968, Simeon Shterev aka "Banana" was named the best jazz flutist in Europe, with the German specialized journal Jazz Podium ranking him second in the world. His name has appeared in the top jazz music rankings for years. 

The celebrated flutist was active on the music scene for over 60 years. He had hundreds of recordings for the Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television in various genres, and also released solo albums. For decades he was a flute professor at the National Music Academy's Pop Music Department in Sofia, as many of his students would later become his partners on stage. For many years Simeon Shterev also worked closely with the Big Band of the Bulgarian National Radio.

Simeon Shterev's impressive biography also includes many collaborations with world-renowned musicians including Maynard Ferguson, Chick Corea, Albert Mangelsdorff, Kenny Wheeler, Milcho Leviev and many more.

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