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Verka Siderova is the first winner of the Boris Mashalov award

Verka Siderova upon receiving the award
Photo: BTA

On the occasion of the 100th birth anniversary of the legendary folk singer Boris Mashalov, a prize in his name has been established. It will be awarded to the winners in an upcoming competition, as well as renowned folk artists who have contributed to the promotion and popularization of Bulgarian folklore. The first town to host the competition is Smolyan. The great singer from the Dobrudja region, Verka Siderova, is the first winner of the Boris Mashalov award for her lifetime contribution. Known for her beautiful voice and her unique songs from Northern Bulgaria, she is one of the living symbols of Bulgarian traditional arts. The official award ceremony was held on February 28th. Boryana Georgieva, granddaughter Mashalov’s granddaughter, told RB more details.

“Together with Konstantin Lazarov, Managing Director of Mentsi radio station, we decided to organize the Boris Mashalov annual folk music awards. The first edition will be held on 27 and 28 September in Smolyan. There will be participants in several categories - from children to adults. Along with that we will award prizes for Lifetime Achievement. The first winner is the great folk singer Verka Siderova. She was selected by the fans of Bulgarian folklore who voted online. On behalf of the heirs of Boris Mashalov I designed a plaque with his face. I will personally present this memorable sign to the great singer. We have prepared a statuette, as well. It will be awarded to the winners in the contest in autumn. I consider it my personal mission and responsibility to bring back Boris Mashalov’s in Bulgaria’s cultural space. People have heard his name, but very few are those who know his repertoire. We can hear recordings of the singers of his generation more and more rarely although contemporary artists have much to learn from them. In 2014, we mark the 100th birth anniversary of my grandfather. He is a legend in Bulgarian music and will remain so. I want his songs to remain in the repertoire of talented musicians in this country for years to come,” says Boryana Georgieva.

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