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Lyubka Rondova
Lyubka Rondova was born in 1936 in the village of Shestevo (Sidirohori in Greek) in the region of Kastoria, Greece. In 1948 during the civil war she falls into a group of children refugees, which are taken out of the country by the communist partisans. She lived in Poland and the Czech Republic. She graduated from the Karlov University in Prague in the field of Slavonic literature. She speaks several foreign languages. In 1960 her family settled down in Bulgaria and she used to work as a travel guide, translator and interpreter, editor and an employee at some departments of culture in different institutions.

Her notable course of a folklore singer started when she moved to Sofia, at the very beginning of her career in Bulgaria’s oldest ensemble for folklore songs and dances ‘Gotse Deltchev’. She had worked there for 30 years as a soloist and representative of the group. In this group of many Bulgarian settlers from all Macedonian regions she forms and enriches her repertoire, based mainly on songs, inherited by her mother and grandmother and improves her skills as a performer.

In 1980 she made her first records for Bulgarian Radio and then at Balkanton, Bulgarian Television, Blagoevgrad Radio. Thousands of records were published, as well as numerous audio and video albums.

In 2000 her first CD ‘Smilyana’ was published and it includes 22 of the most popular and loved songs of her almost 40-year music wealth. In 2003 her second CD was published – ‘The Songs are My Children’, which includes 15 brand new arrangements, 9 of which are authentic songs of her native Kastoria and 6 author’s pieces.

Nowadays Lyubka Rondova keeps on researching and recording authentic Bulgarian songs. She was awarded the ‘Stara Planina’ and many other medals for her contribution to the development and popularization of the Bulgarian culture.

The video of ‘Kalyo, Kalino’ song, performed by Lyubka Rondova in the ‘Site Balgari Zaedno’ (All Bulgarians together) programme:

Translation: Vera Genova

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