Naoumoff, Émile, Bulgarian-born French pianist, composer, and teacher; b. Sofia, Feb. 20, 1962. He was taken to France at an early age and began training in piano and composition as a child. His precocious talent prompted Nadia Boulanger to accept him as a pupil, and he studied with her at the American Cons, in Fontainebleau from 1971 until her death in 1979. He also studied at the Paris Cons, (diploma, 1978; Maitrise Cycle de Perfectionnement, 1982) and conducting with Pierre Dervaux at the École Normale de Musique in Paris (Licence de Concert, 1979). In 1973 and 1977 he was awarded the Lili Boulanger composition prize. He captured first prize in the Casadesus Piano Competition in 1974. Naoumoff scored a remarkable success as a soloist in Monte Carlo in 1984 when he replaced an ailing pianist and played the Tchaikovsky 1st Piano Concerto without benefit of rehearsal. In subsequent years, he was engaged by major orchs. on both sides of the Atlantic. He also appeared in recitals and chamber music settings. Following Boulanger’s death, he taught her classes at the American Cons, from 1980 until 1987. He also taught at the Paris Cons, from 1982 to 1998. In 1998 he joined the faculty of the Indiana Univ. School of Music in Bloomington. Naoumoff was awarded the composition prize of the Institut de France in 1987 and the Silver Medal of the City of Paris in 1990. His repertoire rnages from Bach and Mozart to contemporary composers. In 1994 he was soloist with Rostropovich and the National Sym. Orch. of Washington, D.C., in his own effective version for piano and orch. of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
dramatic: opera: Le Miracle et l’infant (1975). orch.: 2 piano concertos (1972, 1982); Symphonietta Concertante for Piano and Orch. (1973); Bulgaria 1300 for Piano and Orch. (1976); Capriccio for Piano and Orch. (1978); Concerto Elegiaaue for Violin and Strings (1981). chamber:L’élan, trio for Piano, Cello, and Viola (1974); Sonata for Solo Violin (1977); Divertimento I for Oboe and Piano (1977); Poème (sur le nom de Maria) for Violin and Piano (1977); Prelude and Chaconne for Cello and Piano (1978); 3 Pieces for 2 Violins and Piano (1981); String Quartet (1982); Viola Sonata (1983); 3 Pictures from Childhood for Flute and Piano (1984); Petite Suite for Viola and Piano (1984); Dixtuor for Woodwind and String Quintets (1985); Un Oiseau Meurt for Woodwind Quintet (1985); 3 Pieces for Clarinet and Piano (1985); Echo, trio for Bassoon, English Horn, and Piano (1988); 3 Elegies for Bassoon and Piano (1990); Trio for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano (1991); Impressions for Bassoon and Piano (1995); Cantilene for Bassoon and Piano (1997). piano:Music in a Child’s World (1979); Sonata (1981); Sur le nom de Bach (1985); 12 Pieces (1987); 4 Preludes (1990); 13 Anecdotes (1991); Rhapsody (1995); Valse pour Nadia [Boulanger] for Piano, 4-Hands (1997); Reflexions (1998); 3 Gymnopedies (1999). vocal : 4 Songs for Soprano and Piano (1979); Concerto Oratorio for Chorus and Piano (1983–99); La fin de Satan for Reciter and Instruments (1996).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire