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Bulgarian composer creates "music remedy" against coronavirus

The song "Coronavirus, shoo!" performed by Dragostin Folk National choir draws listeners from around the globe

Stefan Dragostinov
Photo: Personal archive

Prof. Stefan Dragostinov is a Bulgarian composer, pianist, conductor and pedagogue, the author of instrumental, choral, chamber and vocal music. He was a student of one of the greatest Bulgarian composers - Prof. Pancho Vladigerov.

In the last days of the outgoing year 2020, Dragostinov, known also for his fresh sense of humour, has presented a peculiar “musical” remedy against coronavirus. The song "Coronavirus, shoo!" has been written in the best traditions of Bulgarian choral music. The performance is of the Dragostin Folk National choir conducted by Prof. Dragostinov.

"The idea was born in March, during the first peak of the pandemic," Prof. Dragostinov told Radio Bulgaria. “I wanted to write a smiling song because the Bulgarian people have survived because they never forgot how to laugh”, he explains.

“At the same time, I wanted this song to be addressed as a prayer to God, as a continuation of my creative search in the waters of the so-called religious songs, which our formation has been doing for more than a decade and presenting at international forums around the world," he adds.

"Coronavirus, shoo" has already been translated with subtitles in 30 languages, including Zulu and Arabic. The song has been listened to by people from all over the world and reviews come all the way from Japan, China, USA, Nigeria.

A special greeting to Prof. Dragostinov has also been extended by the son of Marcel Cellier (1925-2013) – a Swiss musician, producer and publisher of Bulgarian folklore, whose name is associated with the world-famous choir The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices.

Curiously, Dragostin Folk National brings together vocalists from 16 to 61 years of age. Among them is Mariana Pavlova, entered in the Guinness Book of Records as the singer with the lowest voice on the planet.

The group, established in 1994, has an extremely busy recording activity, but at the same time represents Bulgaria at various international cultural forums around the world.

In October 2011, at the competition "Let the Peoples Sing" organized by the BBC, the choir received the Second Prize. This is considered to be the most significant Bulgarian achievement on the international competitive choral scene in the last 25 years.

Photos: private archive