Bulgarian Folklore Singer from Pazardzhik in southwestern Bulgaria
Stage name: IVANKA IVANOVA
Ivanka Ivanova was born on 18 January 1954 in Pazardzhik, Bulgaria, where she also spent her childhood and youth. She gave up her "career" as a highly trained and certified physician's assistant to pursue her love of music. After her marriage, she moved to the Cologne area of Germany, but always kept her ties to Bulgaria. She has been widowed since 1988 and lives with her son in Cologne-Weiden.
It seems as though Ivanka Ivanova was endowed with her love of music and her exotic Bulgarian folklore voice at birth. Even during her school years, Ivanka drew attention with her solo performances at various school
As a young woman, she became a folksong soloist in 1971 in a well-known ensemble in Pazardzhik. While she was studying to become a physician's assistant from 1975-1980 in Veliko Tarnovo, she was a soloist in a construction company's amateur folklore
1979: Winner of the music festival in Vratsa
1980: Winner of the music festival in Varna. Her first performance on television was in February 1980 on the Bulgarian "Television Sofia." The program was named after one of her first songs, "Bjal se Pelin Poljuljava."
Another highlight of her singing career was winning the silver medal at the well-known Bulgarian Koprivishtitsa Festival in August 1981.
Innumerable radio recordings and television performances in Bulgaria followed. These were primarily authentic folklore performances with orchestras from Radio Sofia, Plovdiv, ensembles from Pazardzhik and Stara Sagora, and later with the Cologne world music band, Schal Sick Brass Band.
· Radio Sofia - 44 folksongs
· Radio Plovdiv - 17 folksongs
· Radio Veselina in Plovdiv - 30 folksongs with the full, traditional orchestra (unreleased private recording on DAT)
· Radio Pazardzhik - 15 folksongs with small groups from the Ensemble Pazardzhik (unreleased private recording on DAT)
· Bofirov Company in Plovdiv - 5 folksongs on the cassette, "Folklorna Pletenitsa" (traditional embroidery), Bofirov Music, uliza Hristio Botev 43, 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Tel/Fax: 0035932274105
· Hessischer Rundfunk (HR), Frankfurt, Germany - 24 folksongs with the Stara Zagora Orchestra
· WDR, Cologne, Germany - 18 folksongs with the Stara Zagora Orchestra
Other songs have also been recorded on CD in Germany. After the television performance in Bulgaria in May, Ivanka Ivanova had a performance on ORF 1 (Austrian radio) in the program, "Wunderland," with the Schal Sick Brass Band.
After going to Germany, Ivanka Ivanova could be heard on numerous radio programs - sometimes her songs were performed in broadcasting studios; sometimes recordings from live concerts were broadcast. Her voice could be heard primarily on the radio stations Sudwest Funk, Bayerischer Fundfunk, Hessischer Fundfunk, Radio Freies Berlin, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, and its subsidiaries WDR 5 and WDR Radio Europa, and the Deutsche Welle. She also performed on the radio stations Studio Bern in Switzerland, and later with the Schal Sick Brass Band on the station Ray Due in Italy.
Ivanka Ivanova has been on tour through Germany and Austria again and again with orchestras and ensembles from her home
Songs by Ivanka Ivanova were used by the Australian film director and producer, Helen Bowden in the film, "Excursion to the Bridge of Friendship" in 1992. This film was a success at the Cannes Film Festival.
Compositions by Ivanka Ivanova were used by the Swiss film music composer, Niklaus Reiser from Basel, in the film "I Was on Mars" in 1992. A CD was also produced with this film
Performances with the Cologne musicians Michael Sapp (accordion and composer) and Martin Ingenhuett (contrabass) as the "Ivanka Ivanova Trio" followed.
Since 1996, Ivanka Ivanova has been working with the Schal Sick Brass Band in Cologne, with whom she has had numerous performances in Germany and abroad, including Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Portugal, France, Belgium, and Luxemburg.
Ivanka Ivanova's repertoire includes innumerable (over 1,000) authentic Bulgarian folklore songs, which offer an extremely large selection for her concerts and performances. The song, "Kalina Malina" from the CD "Maza Meze" with the Schal Sick Brass Band, is dedicated to the daughter of the Bulgarian King Simeon, who personally gave his permission. Although Ivanka Ivanova will probably never give up the traditional style of her home country, she increasingly adds elements of rock, pop and even Balkan rap and techno to her
For some time now, Ivanka Ivanova has even been singing Cologne Carnival songs with the Schal Sick Brass Band, which she performs in her own unique style with her charming Bulgarian accent. She also writes lyrics and composes some of these songs.
Ivanka Ivanova can be heard on the following recordings:
Cassette: "Folklorna Pleteniza" - Bofirov Company, Plovdiv. Bofirov Music, uliza Hristio Botev 43, 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Tel/Fax: 0035932274105
CD: "Kalina Malina" - Acoustic Music Osnabruck, order number: 319.1045.242. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CD: "Ivanka Ivanova & Friends" - order number: 319.1096.242. E-mail: email@example.com
CD: "Authentic Bulgaria" - SAS 064, Sonoton, Munich. Fax: + 49 89 480 17 01, Mr. Gerhard Narholz. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CD: "I Was on Mars" - Film Music 01, Austria: music from Dany Levy's film; composer Niklaus Reiser
CD: "Dance Discovery" - Hyper Musik, Switzerland, techno song "Ne Boi Se," HD 96010-2. E mail: email@example.com
CD: "Tschopun" - Schal Sick Brass Band, Act Music, 9264 2 (German Record Critics' Prize)
CD: "Maza Meze" - Schal Sick Brass Band, Act Music, 9277 2
Ivanka Ivanova has innumerable DAT cassettes, with as yet unreleased songs of hers that are just waiting to be released.
For people who are interested in Bulgarian folklore songs, she holds interesting singing workshops which can be arranged by appointment.
Ivanka Ivanova can also be engaged to perform alone, singing live to playback CDs recorded by traditional orchestras. Appropriate sound equipment is required for such performances. She would also like to publish a textbook with authentic songs, and hopes to make contact with interested publishers.
She is ready to work on new recording projects with new songs in diverse styles and with various form of accompaniment - whether traditional or contemporary. At present, new songs are being produced with the Schal Sick Brass Band: a Greek ballad, "Pazardzhik," (dedicated to her home town), and "Katarinka" (dedicated to her best friend). She also sings together with the American guest singer, Victoria Riccio.
Schal Sick Brass Band homepage: www.ssbb.de