Sedyanka: At Home with Bulgarian Music
Back by popular demand, this is the second concert highlighting Bulgarian folk music! Join us and the Center for World Music for a night not to be soon forgotten! A sedyanka is an evening in a Bulgarian home full of traditional singing and music (and maybe even a bit of dancing and some snacks). Join us for an imaginary sedyanka with Tzvetanka Varimezova, a wonderful singer and tambura (lute) player, and her husband, Ivan Varimezov, Bulgaria’s best bagpiper.
About Tzvetanka Varimezova
Tzvetanka Varimezova received a B.A. in choral conducting and folk instrument pedagogy from the Academy of Music and Dance in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She directed the choir of a regional professional ensemble of folk song and dance in the town of Pazardzhik, Bulgaria, during the 1980s. Later, she was a soloist, teacher, and assistant choral director for a number of professional women’s choirs in Sofia, including the National Ensemble Filip Kutev. She has many solo recordings to her name. and is well-known for the brilliant, high-pitched tone quality of her voice and her interpretations of the highly ornamented songs from her native Pazardzhik-Trace region.
Varimezova came to the U.S. in 2001 with her husband, Ivan, to teach in the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology. Since that time, she has worked with choirs in many U.S. cities, including Superdevoiche, the UCLA Balkan choir, Nevenka (Los Angeles), and Kitka (San Francisco). She has also conducted many workshops for the Eastern European Folklife Center in California, New York, and abroad.
In 2017 Tzvetanka Varimezova received the award Voice of the Year 2017 from the Annual Folklore Awards, Bulgaria. The following year, the same organization presented her with the Bulgarian Award for Contributions to Bulgarian Folklore Music.
About Ivan Varimezov
Ivan Varimezov received a B.A. in folk instrument performance and ensemble conducting from the Academy of Music and Dance in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Raised in the traditions of his native region of Strandzha, he is the preeminent gaida(bagpipe) player of his generation, with many solo recordings and awards to his name. During the 1980s, Varimezov was the director of the instrumental ensemble of a regional professional ensemble of folk song and dance in the town of Pazardzhik. He then moved to Sofia to become a soloist with the orchestra of folk instruments at Radio and Television Sofia, a position occupied for twenty-five years by his famous uncle, Kostadin Varimezov. He came to the U.S. in 2001 with his wife, Tzvetanka, to teach at UCLA.
In 2008, in the National Palace of Culture, Sofia, Ivan received the award Golden Lyre from Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers in recognition of his distinguished 30-year career. In 2018 Mr. Varimezov received his most prestigious award to date, a Cristal Medal from the Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers for his outstanding contribution to Bulgaria’s musical culture.