Doctor who founded Bulgaria’s Bansko Jazz Fest dies of Covid-19

Dr Emil Iliev, the founder of the International Jazz Festival in Bulgaria’s mountain resort town of Bansko, has died at the age of 73, Bulgarian National Radio reported on November 16.

He had been undergoing treatment after testing positive for Covid-19.

A graduate in dermatology and acupuncture, in 1982 he founded and became the president of the Bulgarian Society of Traditional Chinese Medicine and was a member of the board of directors of the World Acupuncture Organisation.

On its Facebook page, Bansko municipality paid tribute to Dr Iliev, describing him as a remarkable person who would leave a bright mark in the history of Bansko.

“We lost a friend who, through his love of music, his strength of will and his incorrigible optimism, created a tradition,” Bansko municipality said.

The International Jazz Festival Bansko Facebook page said that Dr Iliev had created the festival through a lot of work and dedication and had put his heart and soul into a cause that reached the hearts of people around the world.

“His love for music, strong spirit, desire for life and his enthusiasm turned the Bansko International Jazz Festival into one of the most important international cultural events in the Balkans and created a tradition. We love you, you will be in our hearts forever, Doctor,” the jazz festival’s post said.

More than 20 medical personnel in Bulgaria have died of Covid-19. According to the November 16 daily report by the national information system, to date 3882 have tested positive.

The Sofia Globe’s coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria is supported by the Embassies of Switzerland and Finland.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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