CANTORISSIMO: A Week Full of Music, Singing, and Cultural Exchange in Bulgaria

From April 17th to 24th, 2023, the enchanting choir project Cantorissimo took place in the Bulgarian cities of Plovdiv and Kyustendil. Plovdiv, the second-largest city in Bulgaria, impresses with its beauty and rich history. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the old city offers numerous attractions to discover. In Kyustendil, a small and charming town, participants not only enjoyed fascinating nature but also delved into the exciting history of the place. With the archaeological zone and the Hisarlak hill, the city provided a unique setting for the project.

Organized by the Swiss-Bulgarian Cultural Association, Cantorissimo offered a unique opportunity for cultural exchange between Switzerland and Bulgaria. Participants from various Swiss choirs and singing groups were invited to take part in this special initiative. The program lasted for a week, including a flight from Zurich to Sofia. Under the guidance of conductor Davide Galassi and pianist Mihaela Stefanova, participants prepared the concert program, which was eventually presented at the gallery in Kyustendil.

The singers not only got to know Bulgarian folklore but also learned three Bulgarian songs under the guidance of a coach. The highly esteemed “Vassil Arnaoudov” Sofia Chamber Choir was also invited as a guest choir to perform Bulgarian songs together with the Swiss choirs. The pleasant warmth in April and the culinary delights of Bulgaria rounded off the experience.

A big thank you to Radka Stefanova for her leadership and support in rehearsing and conducting the Bulgarian songs, as well as for her valuable assistance in organizing throughout the week. We also want to thank Sabina Angelova, Yordan Staykov, and Krasimir Stefanov for their dedication and support in organizing. Without the teamwork and collaboration of all participants, Cantorissimo would not have been possible. Thank you for an unforgettable week full of music and cultural exchange in Bulgaria!

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