Sunday, December 17
The Bansko musicians and their performance have turned the unique two-voice Bansko song into a cultural phenomenon with national and international significance.
The men and boys from “Banski Starcheta” are more than just a folklore group. The way their voices harmonize naturally, together with the strength and depth of their lyrics, is unparalleled. It is surely not by chance that they performed at the wedding of Princess Kalina of Bulgaria, that they are eagerly anticipated guests at many private and public events.
The mission of “Banski Starcheta”, however, goes far beyond showcasing good singing or even preserving traditional folklore. Atanas Yanchovichin, the founder and director of the band since 1980, has sought out and revived hundreds of unique Bansko folk songs for the world to listen to and enjoy. Therefore making a significant contribution not only to the city’s history, but also to Bulgaria’s musical heritage.
“Banski Starcheta” have received awards from amateur and professional groups from festivals in Stambovо, Koprivshtitsa, Rozhen, Ruse, and “Pirin Sings”. Currently, the “Banski Starcheta” ensemble also comprises of a dance group, as well as children and youth groups. Atanas Yanchovichin’s groups have performed at various concerts throughout Europe. “Banski Starcheta” has even had a standalone concert at the Mozart Hall in Vienna.
“Without love and devotion nothing can be done. Everything comes from within. That is who we are – the “Banski Starcheta”. We are all singers and musicians. I play the tambura and tarambuka. Three members of our group are woodcarvers.” – Atanas Yanchovichin