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Born at Gabrovo, Manolov is thought to be one of the founders of the Bulgarian professional musical culture. He composed the first Bulgarian opera Siromahkinia, based on Ivan Vazov's work with the same title, consisting of two parts. Very popular are his works in the genres of the "kitka" and the school song. One of his famous works is the song "What a Girl I saw, Mama" (Kakva moma vidiah, mamo). He died at Kazanlak.