Daily classes in

All types of instruments may be rented for a nominal fee.  Please inquire.

Note: the 2020 staff is still in the works.  We will be adding additional staff as they are confirmed.

Please note the staff is subject to change

Dinko (Paruza) Stefanov will demonstrate and teach his local dances with live music by Djenko Andreev on gaida.  He is the lead dancer of the village authentic dances.

A day of class - village dances from Kermen, Sliven region in Thrace

Nikola Kolev (dance)

A native of Glavan near Veliko Turnovo, he was a dance performer at "Filip Kutev " National Ensemble 1969-1980. After graduating the Academy of Music & Dance, he was a dance teacher at the National. School of Dance Sofia from 1976-2012.  He is the founder of "Iskur Folk Ensemble "

Three days of class - traditional old-stye Bulgarian dance

Velizar Vasilev (dance)

A native of town of Silistra Dobrudja region NE Bulgaria he specializes in Dobrudjan style. He teaches Folk Dance at the Academy of Music and Dance in Plovdiv and is a soloist at Folk Dance Ensemble Trakia. He is leader of Folk Ensemble " Slav Boikin" in town of Rakovski Plovdiv region.  Prize winner as dance soloist at the World Dance Fest. in Grozny Chechnya in 2013.

Was born in Rodozem, Rhodope Region of Bulgaria and studied at the Shiroka Luka Music High School.  She has recorded for the National Radio Sofia and now tours regularly performing and teaching Bulgarian singing in the USA.

Daily classes in traditional Thracian and Rhodope singing

Kamen Mollov (accordion)

Comes from a family rich in musical tradition and has played extensively with his band Rhodopski Izvori.  He has arranged and participated in a multitude of recordings with famous artists including Rumen Rhodopski, Savka Sarieva, and Donka and Nikolay Kolevi. He has recorded for Bulgarian Radio and Television.

Daily classes in Thracian and Rhodopski styles of accordion

Bojidar Strehin (clarinet)

Born in town of Racovski Thracian region, he comes from a musical family famous as a wedding musicians in Bulgaria. He graduated from the Parvomay music school and studied Thracian klarinet style from old masters from the region.  He is founder and leader of  "Mladi Trakiitsi"for 26 years, one of the most popular wedding bands today.

Daily classes in Thracian style of clarinet

Stamen Gardzhev (gaida)

An outstanding gaida player from Thrace (Strandja region) Bulgaria, he was born and lives in the town of Sredets near Burgas.  He has played gaida since the age of 9. In 2011 Stamen was awarded a Grand Prize for best authentic melody by the Bulgarian National Radio Sofia

Daily gaida classes in Thracian Strandja region style

Temelko Ivanov (kaval)

Has played kaval since an early age and is a graduate of the Philip Koutev National School of Folkarts in Kotel and subsequently the Plovdiv Music Academy.  He has been a soloist performer in Ensemble Trakia since 1996 and performs on Bulgarian National Radio. 

Daily classes in Thracian style kaval

Bajsa Arifovska (MK kaval & tambura)

One of the most well-known of the new generation of Macedonian musicians, she was born in Kočani and majored in music at the high school in Štip. In 1996 Bajsa Arifovska studied at Skopje Music Academy.

Daily classes in Macedonian tambura and kaval

Nikolay Kodzhabashev (tambura)

Currently a soloist with the Sliven Ensemble, he has received multiple awards in youth music competitions and won the First Place award of the "National Folk Competition for Tambura Performers Rusko Stefanov" in 2007 and 2009.

Daily Bulgarian tambura classes

A native of Karavelovo, Thrasian region, rich in gadulka traditions, recognized as world class master of his art. Nikolay Kolev graduated from the Shiroka Luka Music High School & has performed & taught in the USA for the last twenty years.  

Daily classes in gadulka and bitov ensemble

Marin Chalamov (tupan)

From village of Vasil Levski near town of Karlovo, he began playing tupan professionally at age 15.  He has accompanied popular musicians and singers such as Donka and Nikolay Kolevi, Rumen Rhodopski, Savka Sarieva and the band Rhodopski Izvori.  He has taught for many years in Ensemble Rozova Dolina, Karolovo, and plays with the renowned Dubenstata Grupa.  

Marin is one of the most popular Bulgarian tupan makers at this time.

Daily tupan classes, including reheading and tuning the instrument

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© N. Kolev and D. Koleva