Bulgarka Junior Quartet

Bulgarka Junior Quartet

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The mystery of Bulgarian voices resides in the expression, high pitch and sparkling, only the Bulgarian countrywomen forged by centuries of tradition can achieve it. These songs speak about love, life and also give homage to the history and heroes of their homeland Bulgaria


Bulgarka Junior Quartet

The Bulgarka Junior Quartet was established in 1989 in the city of Plovdiv with the help of the Rumiana Tsintsarska (who, together with Marcel Sellier, produced the legendary Bulgarian choir “The Mystery of Bulgarian voices"). The four singers of Bulgarka junior quartet are ex-soloists of the famous "Trakia" ensemble from Plovdiv - definitely one of Bulgaria's most polished music performing institutions. They have graduated Bulgarian National Academy of Music and Dance Art in Plovdiv.

The quartet's music maintains that marvelous balance between the Orient and the West, tradition and avant-garde. The purity of their voices commands respect and emotion. With Bulgarka Junior Quartet we could discover the four vocal parts of a Bulgarian choral group but within a chamber music format. Each one of the singers comes from four different Bulgarian folklore areas (Strandja, the Rhodopes, Strandja-Sakar and Thrace) and this specificity enhances their repertoire. In fact, the absence of a leader in the group obliges each of the members to give a new dimension to the songs which they have collected in their respective families or regions (more often from elder generations). Singing for them is a family tradition and way of life. All these, besides the fact that they have musical education, contribute to their professional development. Each of them has recorded for the national radio and private productions like soloists. Due to their popularity they have paved the way for other vocal quartets.

The mystery of Bulgarian voices resides in this expression, high pitch and sparkling, only the Bulgarian countrywomen forged by centuries of tradition can achieve it. These songs speak about love, Life and also give homage to the history and heroes who fought and died defending their homeland from invaders and in pursue of freedom. The repertoire of Bulgarka Junior, extends from traditional music to scholarly music. Specially conceived for the Bulgarka Junior the repertoire was composed by some of the most brilliant contemporary Bulgarian composers such as Ivan Spassov, Theodossi Spassov, Krassimire Kiurkchiiski, Stefan Moutaftchiev and Nikolai Kauffman. The traditional repertoire is a result of a patient work of research and collection giving a special touch of colour to the songs...

Bulgarka Junior quartet first appeared in 1991 on the stage of a showcase in MIDEM (Cannes/France). It was the first step of the quartet to the world stages. It has been followed by concerts in France, Finland, Germany, Israel, Morocco, Belgium, Italy, UK, etc.

Bulgarka Junior participated in various international projects, records and festivals among them the albums “Hiri, 2006”; “K” 2003” and “Maren, 2001” of Kepa Junkera, El Lebrijano’s "Lagrimas de cera" (Wax tears) - record dedicated to the Holy Week, “Misa Primi Toni” of Ivan Lantos, “Lux Obscura” of the renown French composer Hughes de Courson (best known with Lambarena - Bach to Africa,1995 and Mozart in Egypt, 1997) and not list - participated in the production of “Tricodex”, Philippe Decoufle’s dazzling new multi-media work for the Lyon Opera Ballet. The group performed at prestigious venues such as The Wagner Theater in Bayreuth, Germany, Polyphonic encounter in Calvi, "L'esprit des Voix" Festival, The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music, Morocco etc.

Now Bulgarka Junior Quartet works on a new project called Solemn Liturgy - orthodox songs using original themes performed traditionally in Bulgarian orthodox monasteries and arranged for their four female voices by renown Bulgarian composer Alexander Hristov.

Bulgarka Junior Quartet members:

Hristina Anastasova - soprano: inherited the richness of the Strandja song folklore from many generations of singers. She graduated the Secondary Musical School 'Filip Kutev' in the town of Kotel.

Fanka Koynarova - mezzo-soprano: daughter of the mountains where once Orpheus created his magical music - the Rhodopes. She started with singing in her early childhood - in the beginning with the children's ensemble of Smolyan. Graduated the Secondary Musical School of Shiroka Laka and then the Academy of Music and Dance Art in Plovdiv.

Elena Bedeleva - first alto: grew up in Strandja -Sakar region. Graduated "Filip Kutev" Secondary Musical School of Kotel and then the Academy of Music and Dance Art in Plovdiv.

Tonka Koleva - second alto: raised with the music of Thrace - one of the richest regions in variety of melodic and rhythmic folk songs. She was a soloist of the children folk ensemble in Haskovo. Graduated "Filip Kutev" Secondary Musical School of Kotel.


Polyphonies Et Instruments Bulgares - Masq, 2005
Traditional Bulgarian Folk Songs - Studio Sm, 1997
The Magic Voices of Bulgaria - Musicrama, 1996
Legend of Bulgarian Voices - ARC, 1995
Bulgarka Jr. Quartet - Mega Music, 1991

Solo albums

Hristina Anastasova - "With the songs of Strandja",1997
Fanka Koynarova - "Rhodopean songs",1997
Tonka Koleva - "Orehovo liste (Walnut leaf)", 1994


Kepa Junkera - Hiri (Elkar - L'Autre Distribution, 2006)
Hughes de Courson - Lux Obscura (EMI/Virgin Classics, 2003)
Kepa Junkera - K, (2003 - Latin Grammy 2004)
Kepa Junkera - Maren (EMI 2001)
Le Peuple Migrateur - OST composed by Bruno Coulais (Galatee Films, 2001)
El Lebrijano - Lagrimas de cera (EMI 1999)
Ivan Lantos - PALESTRINA - Missa Primi Toni (Ballon Noir/Erato Disques, 1994)

Set List

The concert repertoire of the quartet concerns a variety of genres and styles.

Thrace region is famous for it's cultural wealth. Folk songs using just one voice but with a variety of rhythms inspired by the vast frontiers of this region. These songs have a large tonal spectrum with a rich and ornamented design. One must have a professional and technical skill in order to perform them.

The songs of Pirin region have two voices /melody and bourdon/, this is a unique phenomenon of Bulgarian folklore. The chant was developed mainly for the man, even though the most beautiful songs are for and by woman: the sonority is high-pitched, the ambits are restrained. The ornamentation or design is not as rich as that of the other regions but are marked with screams and hiccough sounds. These cries and hiccough sounds are produced by the throat. These songs have a small tonal range, the most dominant rhythms being 7/8 and 8/8.

Like in the Pirin, the chants of the Shopluk region has two voi