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Gifted musician joins USC Thornton’s composition program

Georgi Dimitrov selected USC in part because of its strong composition faculty. (Photo/Kadi Lee)

By Lauren Evashenk
January 22, 2013

Georgi Dimitrov loves the contrabass clarinet and the uniqueness of a really high contrabassoon. And though he prefers the alto flute to the flute, Dimitrov is quick to point out that writing for “instruments that are not among one’s favorites is often a welcome challenge.”

Dimitrov is a first-year composition major in the Master of Music program at the USC Thornton School of Music. One of two students to enter the composition program this year, he studies under Distinguished Professor of Composition Stephen Hartke, who has been lauded as one of the foremost composers of his generation.

Though he is only beginning his graduate career, Dimitrov is already a promising composer. Last summer, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation recognized Dimitrov with the Graduate Arts Award.

Presented to a maximum of 15 graduate students each year, the award provides individuals who display exceptional creative or artistic talent with a scholarship to be put toward graduate studies in his or her chosen artistic field. Dimitrov was one of only two students nominated for the award by the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), his undergraduate institution.

Thanks to the Graduate Arts Award, Dimitrov was able to pursue his graduate studies at the institution of his choice. After completing his BFA degree in music composition at CalArts, Dimitrov joined USC Thornton in the fall. Dimitrov selected USC because of its strong composition faculty and for the opportunity to have outstanding musicians — namely USC Thornton peers — play his music.

“I hope to draw from [the faculty’s] experience and knowledge,” he said. “They’ve been successful composers for 20 or 30 years and have had their own music performed around the world. They will help me to see what I can’t see on my own, and thus my notes will get better.”

During his first semester at USC, Dimitrov crafted solos and chamber music while completing an orchestral piece. Though the accomplished musician learned to play the violin as a boy, he is also now studying the viola, and he looks forward to concerts scheduled for March when USC players will perform his pieces.

Following the completion of his master’s degree, Dimitrov hopes to pursue a doctoral degree and to teach composition.

Dimitrov’s website,, is under construction, but music lovers can preview a few of his compositions on his SoundCloud stream.!/article/45899/gifted-musician-joins-usc-thorntons-composition-program/