Academic Folk Choir - Bulgaria
Influences: Balkan
Genres: folk, folk music
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September 2023 #12 - Top 40 for Balkan Influence Ya, izgrey, slantse by Atanas Iliev (video)
August 2023 #5 - Top 40 for Balkan Influence Ya, izgrey, slantse by Atanas Iliev (video)
August 2023 #32 - Global Top 40 Ya, izgrey, slantse by Atanas Iliev (video)

The Academic folk choir at the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts in Plovdiv – Bulgaria, was founded in 1972. In a relatively short time it has achieved exceptional results. Having developed its technical and artistic skills on a high academic level, the choir falls into the same category with a large number of professional choirs. It has faced successfully the challenge of performing songs composed on a folklore base by overcoming their numerous vocal, technical and interpretative difficulties.

The choir’s repertoire is characterized by a wide specter of style variety – from authentic folk song from different national regions, to multi-voice interpretations, composer’s works composed with vanguard means of expression, and old orthodox songs.

Many works have been written and dedicated to the Academic folk choir by authors like Asen Diamandiev, Stefan Mutafchiev, Ivan Spasov, Nikolai Stoikov, Kiril Stefanov, Nikolai Kaufman, Krassimir Kyurkchijski, Anastas Naumov, etc. Their works have often had their debut performances done by the choir. Thanks to them, the choir has become the founder of the phenomenon called “new folklore influence”. It is characterized with the intonations and metro-rhythmsthat are integrated in the works they perform, as well as with the highly professional use of contemporary interpretative methods.

The choir has participated in numerous concerts in Bulgaria as well as internationally, yielding numerous acknowledgements and prizes. Some of the choir’s more remarkable international awards are those from the “Bidgosh Musical Impressions” festival in Poland, “Gurten festival” – Switzerland, Flanders Festival – Belgium, “Europalia” – Belgium, as well as the Bulgarian collection of “New Bulgarian Music”, etc.

The international critics have acclaimed the choir’s performances as perfectly epitomizing the “mystery of the Bulgarian Voices”, “superseding the common idea about the Bulgarian national song”, and original and enchanting “with their beauty, precision, artistic freedom and stable intonation”.

Some of most acclaimed choir-masters were Associate Prof. Stefan Mutafchiev and Prof. Vassilka Spasova, the latter being considered the chief contributor for the biggest achievements of the choir.

Starting fall 2004, PhD Kostadin Buradzhiev has been the chief choir-master. In the year 2005 the choir won the first prize on the International Folk Festival in Albena, Bulgaria. In 2005-2006 it also made numerous recordings for the Bulgarian National Radio. The greatest recognition for its professionalism the choir gets at the 5th Choir Olympics in Graz, Austria2008, where it won the Gold medal and title of World Champion in category "Folklore"and Gradn Prix of Choir Music - 2011.For this success the choir is rewarded with the "Crystal Lyre” of UBMD, Ministry of Culture and Radio FM +.