Bulgarian Mystery Voice Stefka Sabotinova Passes Away

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Stefka SabotinovaStefka Sabotinova, celebrated and universally loved Bulgarian folk singer, passed away at the age of 80 Friday.

Sabotinova was born April 2, 1930 in the village of Rozov Kladenec in Bulgaria's southern Stara Zagora region.

She grew up nourished by the live heritage of Thracian folk singing, and started singing at the young age of five. Later Sabotinova took up traditional music as a vocation, after winning an entry contest for Bulgaria's top professional folk choir in 1954.
For many years, Sabotinova was part of Bulgaria's premier folk ensamble Filip Koutev, in which she gained worldwide recognition. In the seventies she also participated in the Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir, better known abroad as “The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices.”

In 1975 she was recruited for the project of Swiss music producer Marcel Cellier, which resulted in a number of recordings bearing the name of “Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares” that brought the tension-riven beauty of the Bulgarian traditional song to the wider world.

In June 2010 Sabotinova received Bulgaria's highest state recognition, the Stara Planina Order.

The singer made an enormous contribution to the preservation and furthering of Bulgarian folk heritage. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s she also played an active role in a number of social activities for the benefit of disadvantaged children. She was a self-professed avid hunter and nature-lover.

You can listen to one of Sabotinova's immortal performances, the Thracian song “Pritouri se planinata,” here.

Stefka Sabotinova will be greatly missed by all Bulgarians and music-lovers across the globe.


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