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Georgi Germanov – the folk song is my life

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The celebrated Bulgarian singer and instrumentalist Georgi Germanov was born in the coastal town of Obzor, Burgas district, in a family of refugees from Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace. Therefore, it is no coincidence that he devoted himself to the folklore music from the Strandzha region. When he was only ten years old, Georgi was awarded the first prize at a festival for slow songs held in his home town. Later, he mastered the accordion and the pandore- the music instruments that often accompanied his solo performances. The music repertoire of the renowned singer is quite rich. It includes songs from different folklore regions, authors’ pieces and old music hits.

Georgi Germanov worked for many years in the coastal resorts around Bulgaria’s marine capital Varna, as well as in one of the music ensembles of the Municipality of Varna. He recorded more than 150 Strandzha and Thracian songs for the music fund of the Bulgarian National Radio-Varna. He released six solo and four compilation albums. He has been working as leader of amateur folklore ensembles from Varna district. He has released six collections with notated songs from his music repertoire to help the participants in the traditional music competition “With the Songs of Georgi Germanov”. Recently, the distinguished Bulgarian singer celebrated his 80th birth anniversary.

“My father used to play on the rebec. My grandfather was also a very popular rebec player and my mother was a singer. They used to gather with neighbors and relatives at home and everyone was singing. When I was a little boy, the population of Obzor mainly consisted of refugees from Strandzha. Some of them were descendants of great Bulgarian personalities such as Valchan Voivode and Ilyo Voivode. I learned the first songs from them. I also like the singers from the Strandzha region such as Magda Pushkarova, Komnya Stoyanova, Georgi Pavlov, as well as young singers Kostadin Mihaylov, Lazar Nalbantov, etc.”

“I started to play the pandore late, as a member of an orchestra in Golden Sands coastal resort”, Georgi Georgiev went on to say. This music instrument is not typical for our region, but l learned how to tune it and started playing it myself. I played the accordion in many music formations. I was a soloist and a member of an orchestra at Ensemble Varna. We toured many countries, including England and Spain. On these tours I realized that our music is much appreciated and loved abroad. My daughter has fully devoted herself to music. We established a community center in Varna named “Thrace at the Heart of Varna” which has more than 200 members. Recently, the Festival and Congress Center in Varna hosted a music competition with my songs and the hall was packed with people. My children, grandchildren and my six-year-old granddaughter also participated at the contest. I love the folk song. It’s my life. I cannot live without music. I will continue to sing and play the music instruments.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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