"Nikolay Kolev is in my opinion the finest Bulgarian gadulka (bowed fiddle) player of his generation. Traditional Bulgarian fiddling in the late 20th century is not some dusty village tradition of no artistic importance. After Word War II the Bulgarian state supported its national folk music somewhat we in the U.S. support classical music. The result has been the transformation of a folk tradition into a nearly classical tradition of almost unimaginable virtuosity and artistry, a brilliance recognized by the international "star" status of Bulgarian folk choirs."

Timothy Rice
Professor and Chair UCLA


The GADULKA is a traditional Bulgarian fiddle with 3 melody strings that are bowed and 10 to 12 sympathetic strings underneath the main strings. The sympathetic strings are not fingered but vibrate on harmonics, giving a rich texture and shimmering quality to the sound. The gadulka is probably the most popular and also most ancient folk instrument in Bulgaria today. Although loud and resonant, its distinctive Slavic voice is warm and soothing.


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