Academician Hristo Nedyalkov is the founder and head of the Children’s Choir with the BNR, a famous conductor and composer. Each year the academician and the choir have an artistic holiday at the seaside – in northeast Bulgaria’s Kranevo, where the Slavianski Venets international children’s festival takes place.
The composer is chair of the jury there. The participants at the festival usually come from East Europe and those compete in different categories. This year the festival ended on August 27 and the children’s choir arrived in Kranevo on the next day. It now consists of about 80 kids, after the spring audition, while other 50 are to be trained. A member of the choir needs an ear for music, a sense of intonation, clear diction and of course, a nice voice. Listen next to the Grozdober song, composed by Hristo Nedyalkov, written by Dimitar Spasov, performed by the children’s radio choir with Ruzhena Koleva and Vesselina Zheleva as soloists. The Big Band of the BNR accompanies the children.
Hristo Nedyalkov was born in the small town of Dryanovo, situated in the Balkan Range. His father was a railway worker, but he showed the way to music to his son through the rehearsals of the choir, established by him and his colleagues. Later on, in high school, Hristo Nedyalkov established a children’s choir. The conductor gives us details on his university education:
“I graduated the Academy of Music as an expert in choir conducting and singing. I do want to mention several of my tutors: Elena Angelova-Urukin – the best vocal pedagogue in the middle of the 20th century in Bulgaria; Georgi Dimitrov, who taught me how to be a good conductor and Parashkev Hadjiev, who made me a careful composer of nearly 400 songs. Poetry is what inspires most my work. I compose only on lyrics that have managed to touch my soul.”
Listen next to another piece from Hristo Nedyalkov: Lunna Pesen /Moon Song/. Kiril Nazarov has written the text, while Svetlana Stoyanova is a soloist. The Big Band accompanies this rendition too.
Probably each Bulgarian kid has heard Nad Smalchanite Poleta /Over Quiet Fields/ and S Chervenite Botushki Potropva Diado Mraz /Santa Comes with Red Boots/. Academician Nedyalkov composed both songs years ago, along with many others. Listen next to the Children’s Choir of the BNR and Maiski Baloni /May Balloons/, written by Liana Daskalova.
In 1960 Hristo Nedyalkov established the Children’s Radio Choir and has conducted it ever since. He has toured in more than 30 countries, while many of his students are now world famous – soprano Ina Kancheva, mezzo-soprano Nadia Krasteva and others. The maestro has been awarded with Stara Planina order, the Sirak Skitnik award of the BNR , Golden and Crystal Lyres of the Union of Bulgarian Composers, the Hungarian Zoltan Kodaly medal and many others. The University of Tokyo made him a doctor honoris causa for his contribution in the art of children’s choir. In 2002 the European Choral Association made him a Cultural Ambassador of Europe and two years later Hristo Nedyalkov became an academician. This edition of TOM will end up with a greeting of the maestro towards all kids that will be in the first grade this year. The song is named Zdravei, Parvi Klas /Hello, First Grade/ and is performed by the Children’s Radio Choir with Teodor Karakolev as a soloist. The Big band of the BNR accompanies this rendition.
English version: Zhivko Stanchev