Harpist Angela Madjarova and her endless musical challenge

Photo: private library

A musician of the world – perhaps that’s the most accurate definition that suits best one of the most famous Bulgarian harpists – Mrs. Angela Madjarova. She has performed on 5 continents and her enthusiasm and passion for music, concerts and teaching is even growing. Last month she unveiled the May Cultural Fest in the town of Smolyan, along with soprano Dilyana Georgieva. A bit later Angela presented another interesting project at a Sofia club together with Carolina Feuerharmel from Brazil – violin, as the latter currently resides in Bulgaria. Most musicians find Latin music very colorful and full of passion and moods, they simply love it. Angela is not an exception, since she has lived and worked in Mexico for 5 years. The harpist has had many concerts in Brazil as well. Both she and Carolina share the same passion for that culture. Thus a project emerged, mixing romantics, nostalgia, warm Brazil rhythms and the passion of Argentine tango.

Angela Madjarova has recorded another interesting album, also influenced by the exotics of the Latin rhythms.

“We recorded a CD with a French flutist – Virginie Bove, who works in Cyprus. It is named Latin Passion and French Elegance. We included pieces of Astor Piazzolla and Claude Debussy. We recorded a new version of Piazzolla’s History of Tango sequence. The original consists of 4 pieces and was composed for flute and guitar. It sounds very beautifully with harp too, due to its rich sound."

Angela has been working in Cyprus as well, for 7 years; she has her master classes in Australia, she teaches Asian students and private ones here, in Bulgaria. Her latest challenge: this year she has established a firm, offering all tools and scores, related to harps. It is among the most expensive musical instruments and that is why its maintenance is essential.

Angela Madjarova wants to contribute to the studying of this instrument in more Bulgarian schools, hoping that the Celtic harp can find its place here, as it is more affordable in terms of prices and easier for playing due to its smaller size. The common view is that the harp is a rare solo and orchestra instrument. People know few things about it and about the composers, who opted for it. More from Angela Madjarova:

“I love stage partnerships with different musicians and formations – this always provokes good work together. I have always loved the work with the Classic FM orchestra due to the fact that they invite best soloists in the world. I think this is a wonderful ensemble at a really high level. As far as music styles are concerned: each of them provides something specific, it provokes me to show a different side of harp. This is an instrument with a really rich timbre, but unfortunately it is not that popular in Bulgaria. However, I am optimistic on its close future and the changed attitude of the very talented generation that is growing up. French impressionism is what I like most: Ravel, Debussy etc. Few composers have written anything for harp because of its specifics. At the same time we’ve spotted recently some development, i.e. works for instruments, not researched till now in their depth are created more and more often. Luckily, harp is one of these instruments. I am happy that there are pieces, created especially for me by Greek composer Nickos Harizanos and by Lyubomir Denev. The latter composed a marvelous play for me, which I presented at the Varnensko Liato festival years ago: Bulgarian Harp Impressions."

A Summer Harp Academy 2014 will take place for a first time thanks to Angela Madjarova. She wants amateurs and professionals to be able to gain experience, shared by renowned Bulgarian harpists. Different harp tutors will teach anyone, no matter the age, each Sunday in the period June 29 – August 3.

English version: Zhivko Stanchev

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