During the middle of the 20th century, a number of ensembles for folk songs and dances were founded in many towns of Bulgaria. Their main purpose was to discover and popularize the Bulgarian folk heritage.
Ever since it was founded Pirin Ensemble – Blagoevgrad (1954) has made a reputation with its original program and remarkable stage performance. Today, more that 50 years later, Pirin is still one of the leading folk ensembles in Bulgaria. It has performed before more that 6 million people at home and abroad and in 60 countries in all continents of the world. The review published in the Events newspaper (Hayward, USA) is indicative of the art of the ensemble: “The abundant splendor of Pirin – the Bulgarian folk ensemble, enthralled the hearts of the audience in Europe, Africa and Asia, and now in America, during its glorious triumphant tour. Presenting a country’s picturesque heritage – with its thrilling choreography, breathtaking songs and beautiful costumes, Pirin created a theatrical performance, which is an expression of the charm and wonder of Bulgaria.”
The ensemble has received many awards such as the Golden Record in Nashville in 1982, the Grammy Award for participation in the second album of Marcel Cellier Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares in 1990, awards from the International Festivals in Carthage (1965), etc.
The great success of the ensemble is mainly due to Prof. Kiril Stefanov – Chief Artistic Director and conductor of the ensemble from 1956 to 2005, a composer, conductor, and a brilliant manager. After him the management of the ensemble was undertaken by young and ambitions musicians, who succeeded in preserving its popularity - the Chief Artistic Director Dimitar Hristov and the conductor of the orchestra Petyo Krastev.
The ensemble’s folk orchestra is just as famous as its choir and dance formation. Its participation in the ensemble’s productions is of utmost importance not only when it performs as a part of the ensemble, but also when it gives concerts on its own. This makes its repertoire very rich and varied. Together with the tunes and horos characteristic of the Pirin folk region, it also often plays folk music from the Thracian region, the Shoppe region, Northern Bulgaria and other regions of the country.
Recorded in the recording studio of Radio Blagoevgrad
PIRIN ENSEMBLE PRESENTS: MILITSE · ITS FOLK ORCHESTRA
 Ethno Balkan Melodies 5’01’’
 Melodies for Tambura 3’08’’
 Militse 4’17’’
 Gaida kolo 4’08’’
 Wallacian Whims 3’15’’
 Harvest and Dance 6’10’’
 Youth Suite 5’27’’
 Bouchimish 3’16’’
 Melodies for Orchestra 3’37’’
 Razlog Melodies 3’08’’
 A Piece for Soloists and Orchestra 5’21’’
Folk orchestra Militse
Soloists: Ilia Ganev – tambura, Ivan Iliev – gaida
Gerasim Kovachev – kaval
Miroslav Yugovski – gadulka
Conductor: Petyo Krastev