What’s new

It was wonderful welcoming back European Union Embassy Open House Day at the Bulgarian Embassy.  We hope you came by and got your taste of Bulgaria as we serenaded visitors from the balcony.

Cosmopolitan Journeys – May 1, 2022, 1:00 – 2:30 on Zoom.  Join SHIN-DC with the Embassies of Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Greece for a program exploring connections between traditional music from Greece, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Serbia, including Ladino and Romaniote music, with musical illustrations from Spyros Koliavasilis (Greece), Sarah Aroeste (North Macedonia; Ladino) Vedran Boškovski (North Macedonia), Orfeia Vocal Ensemble (Bulgaria), Rosa Vocal Ensemble (Serbia) and Dr. Judith Cohen (Ladino).  Free; more information and registration here.

Bulgarian Singing Workshop on-line with Stoyka Germanova!  Saturday, May 14, 2022, 1:00-2:30 p.m. EDT.  Stoyka Germanova has been a vocal soloist with the internationally-acclaimed Pirin Folk Ensemble since 1980.  A graduate of Bulgaria’s national school for folk music and dance in Shiroka Laka, she has performed throughout Europe, the Far East and the Americas and her voice can be heard on her own and Pirin Ensemble recordings and on TV, in films and in YouTube videos.  Stoyka is also dedicated to preserving and popularizing Bulgarian folklore and her repertoire includes many songs that she learned from her mother and grandmother.  Participants will learn the parts to the songs, pronunciation and the song’s background, and lyrics will be provided.  Class fee:  $25 (all proceeds go to the teacher).  Paypal to hbg@wold.std.com; Venmo to @Henry-Goldberg-6.  Register here.  Questions?  Email BalkanSinging@gmail.com. 

Martenitsi * Pizho and Penda

ЧЕСТИТА БАБА МАРТА!  Grandmother March is here!  She’s a bit temperamental, of course, but her arrival means that spring is coming.  Time to put on your martenitsa to greet the new season – and don’t take it off until you see the first stork – or if there aren’t a lot of storks in your neighborhood, until the first fruit tree blooms.  We were happy to welcome spring on Bulgarian Folklor TV with a song about Baba Marta — Grandmother March!   Learn more about martenitsa traditions and hear our song  about Baba Marta on our video

Orfeia, Divi Zheni and Zornitsa

Enjoy our New Year’s Greeting!  We greeted the New Year singing  Откога се е, мила моя майно льо (Ot koga se, mila moja maino ljo) with Divi Zheni and Zornitsa from Boston – broadcast on Folklor TV in Bulgaria!  Watch it here and watch the entire Folklor TV program (lots more music) here.

“The Mystery of Bulgarian Polyphony – A Concert by Svetoglas” • Saturday, December 18, 2021 • 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. on Zoom!  Enjoy this amazing award-winning male vocal quartet – you’ll be glad you did.  Click on the poster for more information about Svetoglas, registration and payment ($15 – all proceeds go to the performers).  Questions?  Email BalkanSinging@gmail.com.


Outdoors at Rhizome with Rumpat • October 16, 2021 • 7 p.m.  Rhizome, your favorite local venue, is back!  Orfeia is joining Rumput, an award-winning ensemble that performs innovative stringband music and shadow theater, often collaborating with artists and composers based in Indonesia. Their performance will include scrolling artwork by Indonesian artists and members of Rumput.  Outdoors; masks required.  More information is here.

 Orfettes at Balkan Chestnut Festival

Fourth Annual Balkan Chestnut Festival 2021 – We Danced, We Sang, We Ate, We Drank.  Great music – Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band, Szikra, and Orchester Praževica and Orfeia – great food, great weather at bucolic Wyoming Farm.  Looking forward to the Fifth Annual!

Europe Day 2021we joined in this international music festival, hosted by Alyssa Milano, with Izgrjala e mesechinka, a traditional Bulgarian song.  We’re at 4:04!

Orfeia on TV! Watch our New Year’s greetings on Bulgarian National Television – starting at 46:03 but there’s lots of good music before that.  Zornitsa, our “sibling group” from Boston, leads off – and then us!  And check out our New Year’s welcome and more music on Bulgaria’s Folklor TV:  Orfeia in the beginning, Divi Zheni, our other Boston sibling group, at 18:26, and Zornitsa at 52:45.  There’s a bonus – Tanya’s singing at 47:13.

CONGRATULATIONS. TANYA!!  In 2020, our incomparable director Tatiana Sarbinska was awarded the Cyril and Methodius Necklace, Bulgaria’s highest cultural honor, by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, for especially significant contributions to the preservation, development, and popularization of Bulgarian tradition and culture in Bulgaria and around the world.  Bravo, Tanya!!  Обичаме те — we love you!  Check out Tanya on Bulgarian National Television!

ENJOY OUR VIRTUAL MINI-CONCERT ON YOUTUBE! A sample of songs from our upcoming CD!  And watch this space — we’re planning to teach songs remotely, too!

REMOTE LESSONS WITH TANYA!  Works great – Zoom or Skype.  Beginners or experienced singers, all ages (kids, too).  If you’ve always wanted to learn some of this wonderful music, now’s your chance!  Bonus:  your vocal technique will improve dramatically.  Even if you think you can’t sing, you can – Tanya will get you there. For more information and to contact Tanya, visit her website.  And here’s one of Tanya’s recent videos on Bulgarian Folklore TV.

TAKOMA PARK ARTS BALKAN JOURNEY  We really enjoyed our Balkan journey with a full house of passengers!  You sounded great on Gura beli belo platno!

VESELA KOLEDA!  We shared Bulgarian holiday music and traditions with a lovely audience in a great setting as part of the Holiday Festival at the Smithsonian Museum of American History.  

ORFEIA IS ON AmazonSmile!  You can help Orfeia every time you shop!  Go to https://smile.amazon.com/  and choose Orfeia as your non-profit organization of choice — up to 0.5% of your purchase price will be donated to us!  Please take a second to do this — we need and appreciate your support.tatiana_portrait_4[1]

A NEW BULGARIAN MUSIC FAN!  Ansu emailed us, “Your performance at the Embassy of Bulgaria for #EUOpenHouse was entrancing. I especially liked your explanation of dissonance and rhythm in the Bulgarian folk compositions, that helped us appreciate what we were hearing even more. I loved the slightly eastern-tonality of your pieces. I look forward to attending more performances. People literally stopped in their tracks on the street to listen to you…outstanding harmonies and unusual, stimulating sound. Great job you all! I posted about you on Twitter.” Thanks!!

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Photo: Kaloyan Doychinov

Photo: Kaloyan Doychinov

Orfeia is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization

Your donation is tax-deductibleMSAC-Horizontal-LogoOrfeia gratefully acknowledges support from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.  

Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Orfeia is supported in part by funding from the Montgomery County Government and the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County


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Hear Orfeia at . . .

European Union Embassy Open House • May 1, 2022  

D.C.’s popular spring event has returned – join us at the Bulgarian Embassy.  More information on Embassy Open House Day here.

Cosmopolitan Journeys • May 1, 2022   

Join a wonderful array of musicians on Zoom for trip through traditional music in Greece, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia — including Ladino.  For more information and to register, visit here.  Free.

Rhizome • October 16, 2021 rumput-si

Rhizome, your favorite local venue, is back!  Orfeia will be joining Rumput, an award-winning ensemble that performs innovative stringband music and shadow theater, often collaborating with artists and composers based in Indonesia. Their performance at Rhizome will include scrolling artwork by Indonesian artists and members of Rumput.  Outdoors; masks required.  

*The events below were all before the pandemic!  Hope to see you in person soon!*

European Union Embassy Open House • May 9

A signature D.C. event — a unique opportunity to look inside the embassies of the European Union nations and experience their culture and food — and drink!  You know where we’ll be — at the Bulgarian Embassy!

Takoma Park Arts • Concert • January 24

Welcome the New Year (it’s still new) with Orfeia and the unforgettable sounds of the Balkans.  We’ll sing, you’ll sing . . . you may even dance a little if you want to!

Smithsonian Museum of American History • Holiday Festival • December 8  

Sounds of the season featuring Orfeia, cantor and singer Arianne Brown, and Afro Blue, Howard University’s premier vocal jazz ensemble.

Book Release Party  • “Sound Portraits From Bulgaria” • October 20

Join author Martin Koenig, Ambassador Tihomir Stoytchev and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings Director Huib Schippers at the Botev Academy to celebrate the release of this compilation of field recordings and photographs.

Balkan Chestnut Festival • October 12 • Wyoming Farm, Clinton, Maryland

Music, wine, dancing, family activities – in a beautiful historic setting!

Harvest Moon Festival • August 25 • Veterans’ Plaza – Silver Spring

From 1:oo – 9:00 p.m.  Orfeia at 2:00 p.m.!

See Calendar page for more details and events!



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