Svetla Kaludova-Stanilova (Plovdiv, Bulgaria)

Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts


SVETLA KALUDOVA-STANILOVA was born in 1957 in Asenovgrad. Deriving her talent from her father, she was been on the stage as a singer since her earliest years. She is an alumnus of the National Music School “Dobrin Petkov” in Plovdiv. In 1980 she graduated the Music and Dance Academy with two subjects: “Folklore instruments and folklore singing” and “Musical pedagogy”. She studied folklore singing in Asen Diamandiev’s class. As a singer she has number of records in the National Radio and Television, a solo CD, as well as participation in other CD’s of the series “Masters of the Bulgarian Folklore”.

From her numerous participations in festivals the following could be pointed out as ones with special significance: France, Italy, Switzerland, Cuba, Belgium and Germany.

Today she is an Associate Professor in “Folklore Singing and Conducting of Folklore Choir” in the “Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts” Plovdiv. Annually she is a supervisor or a reviewer of the Ph.D students in the academy. The total of 21 classes of traditional folklore singers and 9 classes of folklore choir conductors have graduated under Svetla Stanilova’s guidance. Among her alumni are famous singers, vocal pedagogues and conductors.

Svetla Stanilova has great achievements in teaching folklore singing and conducting to students from the USA, Australia, France, Sweden, Finland, Serbia, Slovenia and Greece.

She has worked as a vocal pedagogue and conductor of the Academic Folklore Choir for 15 years and between 1996 and 2000 she was a conductor of the choir at the National Folklore Ensemble “Trakiya”. Since 2000 up to the present she has been working as a conductor of the chamber folklore formation “Phillipopoly”. This formation consists of students and laureates of national competitions and international festivals (Belgium, Germany, and Croatia). The formation has also publishes a CD with 14 chorus songs and has participated in TV shows.

During the period 2008-2011 Assoc. Prof Svetla Stanilova is head of the “Music Folklore” department and from 2012 she is Dean, Faculty of “Music Folklore and Choreography”. Her professional activities have gained high public recognition: she is member of the “Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers”, part of the “Musicologists” department in the “Union of the Bulgarian Composers”, member of the “Union of the Scientists in Bulgaria”. Svetla often participates as a jury member in competitions for traditional folklore arts.

She is honored with the following awards: “Golden Medal for conducting” (1984), a diploma and golden medal for significant achievements in the field of the vocal pedagogy (2005), “Plovdiv’s Badge of Honor” (2010), “Golden Lyra” from the “Union of the Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers” (2010), diploma for the development of the “Academic Folklore Choir”, honorary diploma from “Bulgarian National Radio” for high achievements in the fields of vocal pedagogy and many others.

Svetla Stanilova’s research activities are focused on the problems of the Bulgarian folklore singing (chorus and solo). In 2004 she defended a dissertation on the subject of “The vocal performance accomplishment of the folklore singer – formation and development” and she got a degree “Doctor of musicology and musical art”. She also participates as a vocal pedagogue in Workshops for Traditional Bulgaria Folklore Music across Europe.

She has published five books “Life and Songs”, “For the traditional folklore singing performance”, “Clear Sunrise”, “Indispensable spring”, “Methodology for the Folklore Singing Education”. She has also written many publications in specialized editions, collections of songs and methodical handbooks.