Golden Age Award puts spotlight on talented cultural figures days before May 24


On the eve of the most Bulgarian and culturally significant holiday –the Day of Slavonic Alphabet, Bulgarian Enlightenment and Culture, celebrated on May 24, the Ministry of Culture with Minister Boil Banov, awarded the Golden Age State Award to outstanding people from the field of culture and arts. The ceremony traditionally took place in the Ball Hall of the Dvoretsa National Art Gallery among paintings - masterpieces of the Bulgarian Revival Period and contemporary art. Five artists from different spheres of cultural life received the highest distinction of the Ministry of Culture for their contribution to the development of Bulgarian culture and art. The prize was presented by director Asen Shopov from the Drama Theater in Dimitrovgrad, the famous choir conductor and head of the Gusla male choir - academician Valentin Bobevsky, poet and publicist Petar Andasarov, Prof. Svetlozar Donev - director and long-time head of the Musical Theater Stefan Makedonski, and prima ballerina Assoc. Prof. Kalina Bogoeva.

"We are once again to show that we are here and that culture in Bulgaria remains a driving force; it continues to develop and form great minds and great talents. But life sometimes can be absurd and I will ask you to keep a minute of silence in memory of the great opera singer. Hristina Angelova who recently left this world before the age of 73,"Minister Boil Banov said at the beginning of the ceremony.

Traditionally, this year he awarded another distinction - the golden seal of Tsar Simeon the Great, to dozens of artists and actors from all spheres of culture and its related scientific and organizational activities. Awards were received by actress Slava Racheva, head of the Sofia Boys' Choir, Prof. Adriana Blagoeva, folk singers Zlatka Stavreva, Olga Borissova and Kalinka Valcheva. Among the winners were also three institutions - the Zarya Chitalishte (community center) in Haskovo and the regional libraries in Rousse and Burgas.

СнимкаAmong the winners was the young cellist Atanas Krastev, a lecturer at the National Academy of Music. "It makes sense for a musician to stay and work in his country," he says and adds:

“For me, this award is an incentive to continue to work even harder in order for Bulgaria our culture to get the right recognition, especially from the people who depend on how much of the state's budget will be devoted to culture. Because of insufficient funding, many of the most talented young Bulgarian musicians choose to continue their creative journey outside this country’s borders. We, who stayed here, have to work very hard so that we can create the conditions for the realization of these wonderful Bulgarian musicians, whom we all admire. My personal mission is to keep developing the cello school that my father Anatoly Krastev created. In this I find the meaning of my life and that is what makes me happy.”

At the end of last year UNESCO included in its register of good world practices the Bulgarian community culture centers (chitalishte) as an institution preserving the intangible cultural heritage.

СнимкаOn the occasion of May 24 - the Day of Slavonic Alphabet, Bulgarian Education and Culture, the "Golden Age" Honorary Sign, was presented to Asparuh Vangelov, who is among the doyens of community center activitiesin Sofia. Despite his 90 years of age, Vangelov continues to work in the "Rayko Aleksiev" community center in Sofia’s Krasno Selo and to write poetry. “At the heart of music stands poetry and through it we reflect the spirit of the age,” Asparuh Vangelov says and adds:

“It is only at the beginning of the 21st century that some kind of enlightenment among the peoples of the world can be seen,” Mr. Vangelov says. “In order to have moral resilience, we must rely on the values ​​we inherited and also remember that each of us is responsible for the overall future of humanity. World conflicts and terrorism have reached a boiling point and ​​we can preserve peace and live in understanding with each other only if we return to moral values.”

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: Gergana Mancheva

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