The name of Kosta Kolev (b. 1921) is emblematic of Bulgarian folk music!
He is brilliant in all three fields he engages in – as an accordionist, composer and conductor. Bulgarian traditional culture wouldn’t have been the same today without his unique arrangements and original works, his brilliant accordion performances and his wide scope of conducting work. Being brought up in a family of folk musicians, he started playing music at a very early age. Besides mastering the accordion, Kosta Kolev also plays almost all wind instruments. This has helped him a lot in his work as a composer.
His concerts as an accordionist throughout Bulgaria are legendary. He worked with all famous performers in the past: Atanaska Todorova, Gyurgya Pindzhurova, Boris Mashalov, Mita Stoycheva and many others. The concerts they gave always turned into real festivities!
In 1949 Kosta Kolev started working at Radio Sofia as a director of a folk orchestra. He wrote down songs in notes, arranged folk songs and tunes, accompanied live performances. In 1954 he took up the leadership of the orchestra of the Bulgarian National Radio Folk Songs Ensemble and soon it became a leading ensemble in Bulgaria. Kosta Kolev continuously noted down songs, arranged folk music, composed pieces, taught the musicians how to read music, introduced new instruments in the orchestra, made innovations in the gadulka playing…
Many folk artists’ first successful performances are due to his help. All singers and musicians have at least one arranged piece by Kosta Kolev in their repertoire. He is still sought after by the orchestra of the Bulgarian National Radio and by many performers and ensembles.
Kosta Kolev has registered and wrote down in notes over 10 000 folk songs and tunes. He has arranged and written more than 6 000 songs and pieces, taken part in over 5 000 concerts in Bulgaria and throughout the world, and captivated the audience in Romania, Germany, France, Egypt, Austria, Italy, Switzerland…
Kosta Kolev is a model of a musician with a classical music education (he graduated the Bulgarian Academy of Music under Prof. Georgi Dimitrov and Prof. Parashkev Hadjiev), who has remained true to his native origin and has brilliantly combined his knowledge and talent with the centuries-old experience of the folk tradition. He is a true inheritor of the best folk traditions!
BULGARIAN FOLK HERITAGE · KOSTA KOLEV
 HaramiiskoHoro 3’32”
 Zaiko-Kukuraiko 1’52”
 Kalimanku, Denku Mari 3’06”
 Lyulka se Lyulia, Devoiko 3’17”
 Kukerski Melodii 2’51”
 Chie e tova Momiche 2’32”
 Az ne sum Doshal, Kalino 3’27”
 Kalino, Dyulber Malino 3’08”
 Lyubila Safeta Stoyan Kehaya i Horo 3’43”
 Proviknal mi sei Nikola 3’30”
 Sitni, Stoino 2’39”
 Buentsi 5’31”
 Slantseto Treperi 2’43”
 Pravo Horo 3’02”
 Rosen, Rosen 3’00”
 Lele, Velo 3’44”
 Krivo Plovdivsko Horo 3’06”
 Oi, Nedo 1’56”
Kosta Kolev – accordion, Kostadin Gugov, Yanka Rupkina, Bulgarian National Radio Folk Songs Ensemble, Kostadin Varimezov – gaida, Kaicho Kamenov, Nedyalka Keranova, Trakia Enesemble – Plovdiv, Stoyan Velichkov – kaval, Boris Mashalov, Elena Bozhkova, Bulgarian National Radio Folk Music Orchestra, Maria Leshkova, Boris Karlov – accordion, Verka Siderova, Roza Tsvetkova, Nikola Ganchev - kaval
Accompanied by an orchestra and the Bulgarian National Radio Folk Music Orchestra
Conductors: Kosta Kolev, Tsvetan Tsvetkov, Dobrin Panayotov, Dimitar Dinev