Folklore gala at Prof. Pancho Vladigerov Academy of Music

Photo: Archive

For the first time in the almost 100-year long history of the Prof. Pancho Vladigerov National Academy of Music, in 2018 it introduced folklore fields of study. The lecturers are all famous names who are investing their enthusiasm and dedication to building the foundations needed by the professionals of the future in their future development.

Three of them describe the responsibilities and the difficulties of being the first, and talk about the upcoming concert by students of theirs. The event is on 29 October, in the grand hall of the Academy.

We develop all programmes and curricula ourselves, thanks to our expertise and practice. I believe that what we are doing will guide our talented students who have dedicated their time and effort to folk music, for many years to come. At the concert our instrumentalists will perform lovely pieces by famous composers, says Dimitar Hristov, conductor of the Folk Music Orchestra of the Bulgarian National Radio who teaches folk orchestra conducting and is head of the instrumental chamber orchestra at the Academy.

Petyo Kostadinov (bagpipe), Hristina Beleva (rebec) and Nedyalko Nedyalkov (kaval), all of them soloists of the BNR’s Folk Music Orchestra, also teach at the Academy.

Nelly Andreeva, Philip Koutev folk ensemble soloist for many years teaches folk singing:

Of course it is difficult, but it is also very exciting. Any new beginning brings hope and future prospects. I can say I have an incredible class. The girls are wonderful soloists, they work hard to build their repertoire. I am thankful of the chance of working with future musicians of such talent. I hope and believe that the students taking part in the concert will live up to the expectations of a good beginning and the opportunity of being together for the sake of the music we all love.

What does “the other side” think? Second-year student Marina Marinova is studying violin and folklore singing in parallel.

Classical music is a must for any musician, and folklore gives an unmatched sense of freedom. The two together can give an artist a lot. Last year, at our first concert, I sang a song, dressed in national costume, to violin accompaniment – I played the violin myself. That got students from both majors interested. At this concert I shall again have a surprise for the audience.

Vanya Moneva, conductor of the world-famous choir that bears her name, teaches folk choir conducting and is head of vocal chamber ensembles.

It gives me much pleasure, she says. Young people are the future and I want to give them self-assurance and an ambition to be “honest” with music, to be responsible and dedicated. I decided to start with well-known names from the recent past who have created inimitable music, like Philip Koutev, Krassimir Kyurkchiysky, Nikolay Kaufman, Ivan Vulev, etc. After that we will continue to evolve with more recent music. I think it is an act of courage on the part of young people to choose the Academy for the study of folklore. We are not a separate department, our fields of study are part of other departments where students study all subjects included in the classical instrumentalists and vocalists programme. For the upcoming concert I have selected a varied programme with music from all folklore regions of Bulgaria so as to demonstrate the ability of the young singers to perform as an ensemble. Of course, there will be solo songs to the accompaniment of the students who are instrumentalists, performances by the chamber formations together. But the high point will be when all girls will sing together with the entire orchestra. I am certain that the folklore concert will be a veritable feast for the eyes and ears.

Borislava Yordanova

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