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Gyurga Pindzhurova: Magician of Bulgaria’s folk music

Photo: архив

Gyurga Pindzhurova is one of the most emblematic figures in Bulgaria’s folk music field. Back in the 1930s, people used to call her "the magician of Bulgaria’s folk music". Her rich music repertoire isstored at the BNR music archives. Even today,her voice grabs the listener with its beautiful and soft timbre. "The song keeps me alive. I express feelings of sadness and joy thorugh the song" - the famous Bulgarian folk singer once said.

Born in 1895 in the town of Tran (near the Bulgaria-Serbia border),Gyurga Pindzhurovabegan singing beautiful songs performed by her mother from an early age. When she was still a schoolgirl, her fellow citizens discovered her huge talent and invited her to participate at local celebrations and fairs. A fortunate encounter with opera singer Hristina Morfova predetermined her future in folk music. At the insistence of the famous Bulgarian singer, Gyurga Pindzhurova joined the first class of the State Music School in Sofia in 1917. Then, she studied at the Prague Conservatory for three years. Due to her excellent diploma and wonderful vocal qualities, Gyurga was invitated to participate at concerts in Prague and Austria, but she took the road to Bulgaria.

Initially, she held concerts across the country, whose programs included opera arias and folk songs. In 1926 and 1927 she was a music teacher in her hometown and the surrounding villages.

The creative radio period of the famous singer, which lasted for almost 30 years, was extremely fruitful. In the beginning (in 1935),she participated in the Children's Hour of Radio Sofia (now BNR) presenting children's songs. In 1938,she became a regular associate of the national radio. Behind the radio microphone, she combined performances of opera arias with folk songs from Tran region, initially accompanied by a piano and later performed together with Thracian Troika instrumental group.

The renowned singer recorded nearly 80 folk pieces from her native Tran region for the BNR music archives, but also sang songs of the national revival period. Her radio appearances are highly appreciated by radio listeners and music experts.

To this day, her songs "Omile, mi Yagodo", "More Chicha Rechi da me Zheni", "Gugutka Guka v Usoe" are part of the music books and the music repertoire of young Bulgarian folk singers.

In honor of the famous Bulgarian folk singer, in 1994 and 1995 the town of Tran hosted the competition "With Gyurga Pindzhurova’s Songs" and the local community center was named after her.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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