Profesor Kostadin Buradzhiev: The link between teachers and students is extremely important in folk music

Photo: private library

Profesor Kostadin Buradzhiev marks his 60th birth anniversary and the 35th anniversary since the start of his career with an author’s music and dance show named Folk Visions. The double album consisting of his author’s pieces and arrangements is also named Folk Visions. The event will be held on November 30 in Bulgaria’s city of Plovdiv.

Professor Kostadin Buradzhiev is a Bulgarian composer, conductor, music teacher and head of folk ensembles. Professor Buradzhiev used to play on the mandolin many years ago. He is a laureate of dozens of music awards, including the Golden Lyre (1994 and 1999), the Silver Lyre (1989) award of the Union of Bulgarian Music and Dance Activists. He won with Dobrudzha State Ensemble a series of prestigious awards at national and international competitions and recorded four long-playing records and six CDs (released by SABAM, Belgium). In 2001 Kostadin Buradzhiev became a professor for conducting of folk orchestra and folk choir at the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts in his native city of Plovdiv. He was a chief conductor of the Academic Folklore Choir. Professor Buradzhiev won with the Academic Folklore Choir a gold medal and the title World Choir Champion at the World Choir Games in Graz, Austria in 2008, as well as many other music prizes.

I am very thankful to my first solfeggio, accordion and mandolin teachers and I owe my successful career to them. I continued to study mandolin professionally at the National School of Folk Art in Shiroka Laka in the classes of Nikola Manovski. I learned a lot from Mr. Manovski. I was trying to catch up with the students who started to play the mandolin before me and I think I succeeded. All teachers at the National School of Folk Art in Shiroka Laka were wonderful people and some of them are my colleagues at present. I am extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to study in the classes of celebrated music pedagogues and communicate with different musicians at the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts in Plovdiv. When we studied at the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts we performed pieces by some of the leading figures in this music genre. Later, when I headed the Dobrudzha State Ensemble I had the chance to communicate directly with some of them – Professor Kiril Stefanov, Ivan Valev, Krasimir Kyurkchiyski, etc. I learned many life and professional lessons from them and am so happy that they let me close to them.

Professor Kostadin Buradzhiev contends that the link between teachers and students is extremely important, because the folk process and the creation of author pieces is a delicate job and students cannot learn everything from the textbook.

I remember writing my first author’s piece when I studied at the National School of Folk Art in Shiroka Laka. One day I went to my native city of Plovdiv and my father took me to the conductor of the radio orchestra Hristo Urumov to check what I had done. My piece was full of mistakes, although it sounded well and I played it together with my classmates at school. However, conductor Hristo Urumov told my father that I should never give up, because I had the necessary talent and potential. Later, I studied in his classes at the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts in Plovdiv. I will never forget his lessons. I learned from him the subtleties of folk process, especially during harmonization and I teach my students the same. Classical harmonization is non-applicable to folk tunes. Many details and subtleties are learned in practice and I learned them from the abovementioned teachers. That is why I feel free to interpret music.

I have not dared presenting a whole programme of own music arrangements so far, because I thought that a colorful palette of different artistic styles was better than a single style, but later I decided to accept the challenge. I am grateful that Dobrudzha State Ensemble and Trakia Ensemble will participate at the concert. Three of my biggest music and dance shows and a chamber dance are presented at the concert on November 30.Soloists will perform some of my songs and instrumental pieces together with the Folk Orchestra of the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts in Plovdiv. The audience will enjoy four Acapella pieces. I wrote these pieces this summer for the Academic Folk Choir of the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts in Plovdiv

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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