To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.
Being a soloist of the Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices Women's Choir Kalinka Sgurova has long ago conquered the hearts of the Bulgarian and the international audience. Her huge repertoire of nearly 300 solo songs from Strandzha region is part of the rich archives of the Bulgarian National Radio.
Kalinka Sgurova's active professional career started at Pirin Folk Ensemble in Blagoevgrad (Southwestern Bulgaria). In 1971 she joined the Bulgarian National Radio Folk Songs Ensemble. Kalinka became member of the choir which later became popular with the name the Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices. In 1990 the prestigious American Grammy award was bestowed on that formation. Being a member of the Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices Kalinka Sgurova appeared on a series of stages in Europe, Asia and North America. Later she founded a folk singing school, a folk choir and a foundation named after her husband - Bulgarian composer Stefan Kanev. Kalinka was also engaged in a series of patriotic activities in Bulgarian schools and community centers.
Kalinka Sgurova spent her childhood in the village of Debelt in Stradzha Mountain. Her happy childhood was accompanied with lots of songs, because her family had standing music traditions. Kalinka's parents and teachers encouraged her to devote herself to music at a very early age. Renowned Strandzha singer Sava Popsavov encouraged fourteen year-old Kalinka to take part at the First National Folk Fair in the village of Gramatikovo in 1960, where she won first prize. That contest motivated Kalinka Sgurova to start working even harder and conquer other peaks in her music career. She performs her repertoire with attention to the details of the traditional old Strandzha music style and the typical Zagorski songs.
“I am delighted with the fact that my music brings joy and pleasure to people, Kalinka Sgurova once said. “My career started back in 1960. Ever since I have been following my vocation. However, it is not enough to possess a big talent. You must also work hard, in order to make a career. My songs go through my mind and my heart, too. I had a series of appearances on stage with the Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices Choir and we were always receiving a warm welcome from our fans across the globe. Composer Stefan Kanev wrote a series of songs for that choir, including solo songs. He also wrote chamber songs for Zornitsa Trio, as I was one of the members of that trio. This year I mark fifty years on stage. I held a big concert in the city of Burgas. I have a very strong connection with that coastal city. I believe that my fans and my fellow citizens enjoyed my concert a lot. I have been an honorary citizen of Burgas for fifteen years now and three years ago I became an honorary citizen of the town of Sredets, which is also situated in my hometown region. That town has been hosting for over twenty years the Folklore Wreath-Bozhura festival, which gathers on stage talented Bulgarian children. Some of my students won awards at that festival. I devoted myself to young people and to the fans of Bulgarian folk music over the recent years. I continue to record new songs. Recently my new CD named Fire from Embers was released.”
On the eve of the Christmas holidays Mrs. Sgurova sent her warm wishes to all friends of Radio Bulgaria:
“May all people across the globe be healthy and happy! May they enjoy life, overcome all difficulties and challenges. I believe that progress is based on the talented and kind-hearted people and Bulgaria develops thanks to the true Bulgarians who value and love our old culture. I believe in goodness, in good relations between people and colleagues who devote themselves to the young Bulgarian talents. I wish everyone sound health. May we all live in peace and love Bulgarian folklore music!”
The audio file contains the following songs performed by Kalinka Sgurova: