ICTM Symposium (May 2016)

From 2 – 8 May 2016 we participated in the Fifth Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance in South-eastern Europe. The ICTM stands for International Council for Traditional Music. It is a non governmental organization in formal consultative relations with UNESCO. This study group is one of the many that are operating within the ICTM.


The symposium was hosted by the Faculty of Arts of the South-West University “Neofit Rilski”, in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. It took place in their centre outside the town in the Bachinovo Park. It was a marvelous experience in which we learned a lot and met a lot of people. As we were there as collectors of music somewhat “a stranger in the midst”, we were fully accepted and had a very nice time there.

The program consisted of presenting papers by the participants, a film and in the evening some concerts. One evening was dedicated to the ethnomusicologists. This session was focused on the ethnomusicologist Rajna Kacarova and the kaval player Cvjatko Blagoev. Besides the evening activities we had a lot of fun with dancing and singing. The last evening there was a farewell party; a beatiful combination of a diner and a concert. Desislava Dimčeva has sung for us accompanied by her husband Valeri Dimčev on tambura, Binka Dobreva sang and there was an excellent group of singers and instrumentalists from the town of Kresna.

Pictures of the Symposium can be found here.