folk choir

at The Academy of
Music and Dance - Plovdiv

was created in 1980


In a relatively short period of time the choir accomplished outstanding results in the interpretation of bulgarian choir pieces, with an extraordinarily comprehensive repertoire including authentic folk songs from different regions of Bulgaria, polyphonic arrangements, original work based on folk motives and incorporating avant-guard means of expression (including aleatoric and sonoristic), Old Church Slavonic songs and others.

A number of choir pieces by the following composers were written and dedicated to the Academic Folk Choir: Ivan Spasov ("Marinko Moe Doshtryu", "Vido, Vido", "Hortsa I Pripevki ot Pirina"); Nikolai Stoikov ("Mari, Nazlun Vakla Todoro", Dva Madrigala", "Razboliala se Dragana" and "Malka Moma Dvori Mete"); Assen Diamandiev ("Da Sam Studena Voda"); Petar Krumov (two songs from the East Balkan region, "Na Lazar", "Na Sryata", "Lazarska Pesen") and others. The Academic Folk Choir was the first to perform these pieces and thus became the initiating force of the New Folk Wave, which was later taken up by other bulgarian folk choirs.

The choir performed very successfully in Bulgaria and abroad (Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Russia, Finland, Poland, Turkey, etc.). The choir was highly praised for its performances and international festivals (Bodgosh Musical Impressions - Poland, Gurtenfestival - Switzerland, the International Festival of Chamber Music - Bulgaria, the New Bulgarian Music Festivals and other forums). The choir has produced television specials, a compact disc, long-play records, audio tapes, studio recordings in the National bulgarian radio.

The commentaries of the foreign musical critics reviewing the performances of the choir noted its unique and authentic singing style, its great mastery and exciting renditions of the material. It was said to uncover a whole new world of mastery of the Bulgarian voices, creating something beyond our image of the Bulgarian folk song, enchanting with the beauty, precision, artistic freedom, and stable intonation.


Mrs. Vasilka Spassova is the conductor of the Academic Folk Choir since 1981. She is a professor in conductorship at the Academy of Music and Dance - Plovdiv. Mrs. Vassilka Spasova is a graduate of the State Music Academy - Sofia with a degree in choir conductorship, under Prof. G. Dimitrov and Prof. D. Ruskov. She has published scientific essays, articles, etc. (including the treatise Theoretic and Artistic-analytical Problems in Working with a Female Folk Choir), she is also the author and editor of many compedia of pieces for choir by Bulgarian composers and renditions of folk songs. In addition, she has attended the Musical Academy Stanislav Monushko in Gdansk, the University of California in Los Angeles, a number of specialized musical institutes and educational institutions in Switzerland (Bern, Lucerne, Biele, Winterthur), Sweden (Stockholm), etc. where she has lectured on the problems of the Bulgarian choir work and interpretation of folk songs.

Mrs. Spasova has received numerous prestigious awards for her achievements in the art of musical performance, including the Silver Lire of the Union of Bulgarian Music and Dance Performers, the Plovdiv Award, etc.


"...most impressive is the ability of the conductor V. Spassova and the singers in the choir to find the dialectic colour, as well as the temperament and the vocal mastery, which the author has been searching for, the finest delicacy of the original source..."

Modern Folk Presence NBM'88, Trud Newspaper, iss.12, 02.01.1988, Sofia


"...the fok choir led by V. Spassova demonstrates crystal sound and exquisite vocal performance. Exceptionaly difficult pieces are powerfully recreated due to the excellent work both of Spassova and the choir..."

Rabotnichesko Delo, iss.256, 09.12.1989


"...the conducting of Mrs. Spassova is magnificent and imposing... She turns a small song into a genuine masterpiece..."

Hugo Heugebard - Flemish critic
Musical Horizons Magazine, iss.7/1993

© "Prof. Ivan Spassov" Foundation. All rights reserved.