London Bulgarian Choir

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London Bulgarian Choir
London Bulgarian Choir at The Anvil, Basingstoke.jpg
Basingstoke leg of the BBC Radio 3 Choir of the Year competition
Background information
Also known asLBC
OriginLondon, UK
GenresBulgarian folk music
Years active2000 - present

The London Bulgarian Choir (LBC) is a London-based amateur choir, specialising in Bulgarian folk music. Dessislava Stefanova has led the choir since its formation in 2000. Primarily a performing choir, the LBC perform around 20 concerts a year and have been involved in high-profile collaborations with British Sea Power, Doves and Orlando Gough.

History and achievements[edit]


LBC won the Open Choir Category of BBC Radio 3's Choir of the Year 2006 competition.[1]


In the summer of 2005 LBC toured Bulgaria. The tour was covered in a full-page article in the British Songlines magazine[2] and filmed for Bulgarian television. The choir returned to Bulgaria in August 2010, featuring in national press and television, and performing at the Koprivshtitsa folk festival and the Bansko jazz festival.[3] In the autumn of 2016, the choir supported violinist Nigel Kennedy in a brief international tour that comprised performances in Sofia, Plovdiv[4] and London.[5]


Sections of the choir contributed to the soundtracks for the 2004 Warner Bros. epic Troy[6] and the 2005 BBC miniseries The Virgin Queen.[7] The Virgin Queen soundtrack won the 2007 BASCA Ivor Novello award in the Best Television Soundtrack category.[8]


The choir has taken part in London-based events such as the Exhibition Road Music Day,[9] Various Voices,[10] and the London Jazz Festival.[11]

Outside London, the choir regularly take part in music and arts festivals, and have performed at the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival,[12] MusicPort,[13] Sidmouth Folk Week[14] and the Larmer Tree Festival.[15]


Composer and animateur Orlando Gough used the choir in central roles for the performances Singing River[16] at the re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall and Shouting Gallery[17] in the National Portrait Gallery.

Part of the choir sang with British Sea Power on BBC Two's music television program Later... with Jools Holland[18] in January 2008 and joined them again for the Mercury Music Awards later that year. The full choir joined British Sea Power for concerts in the Roundhouse[19] in 2008 and Regent's Park[20] in 2009.

The choir collaborated and performed with Doves as part of the BBC Electric Proms in October 2009.[21]

In 2012, the choir performed with Cerys Matthews, adjusting two songs from their repertoire to fit with two from Cerys' album Tir. 10 singers from the choir worked with Neil Davidge on the soundtrack to Halo 4. [22] In 2013, the choir worked with Sophie Ellis-Bextor on the recording of the track Cry to the Beat of the Band for her album Wanderlust.[23]


Dessislava Stefanova was the featured guest on Radio 3's The Choir [24] with Aled Jones in February 2007, and presented Bulgaria's Voice[25] on Radio 3 in 2005. Both programs included recordings of the choir in performance. The choir was featured in an episode of Joan Armatrading's Favourite Choirs on BBC Radio 4 in 2008.[26][27]


  • Alyana Galyana, 2008
  • Christmas Concert (DVD), 2009
  • Goro Le Goro, 2012[28]


  1. ^ BBC Radio 3 Choir of the Year - 2006 Results
  2. ^ Songlines #33, Nov/Dec 2005
  3. ^ Tanya Jackson (January 2011). "Choral Tributes". fRoots (Issue 331). pp. 51–53.
  4. ^ Bezovska, Albena (14 September 2016). "Bulgarian participants in Nigel Kennedy's Bulgaria concerts: "It will be provocative, interesting and festive"". Bulgarian National Radio.
  5. ^ Kimberley, Nick (26 October 2016). "Nigel Kennedy, classical music review: Fiddles at dawn in fiery opener". Evening Standard.
  6. ^ Recording the Score for Troy Archived 2008-07-06 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "The Virgin Queen" (2005) (TV mini-series) - Soundtracks
  8. ^ The Ivor Novello Awards - Nominees
  9. ^ Exhibition Road Music Day: London's home of Fete de la Musique
  10. ^ Various Voices London 2009 brochure
  11. ^ London Jazz Festival - Radio Gagarin
  12. ^ Article: Organisers look back on 'fabulous' festival - Hebden Bridge Times (Hebden Bridge, England); HighBeam Research
  13. ^ Musicport Festival, 21 October 2008
  14. ^ Sidmouth FolkWeek Lineup (2009), archived December 2009
  15. ^ Larmer Tree Festival 2009 Line-Up Archive
  16. ^ YouTube - Bulgarian Choir
  17. ^ The Shouting Gallery: 6 Frisky Choirs at National Portrait Gallery (Friday, May 12, 2006) - Upcoming Archived August 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ RTV - British Sea Power to headline 2000trees festival Archived 2013-04-18 at
  19. ^ Hazel Sheffield - Freelance Journalist: Live Review: British Sea Power @ Roundhouse, 17/10/08
  20. ^ British Sea Power, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, London, Simon Price, The Independent, 23 August 2009
  21. ^ BBC - Electric Proms - Doves
  22. ^ Hart, Tina (23 August 2012). "Halo 4 official soundtrack announced". Music Week.
  23. ^ Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Biography 2013 Archived 2014-01-16 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ BBC Radio 3 - The Choir - 18 February 2007
  25. ^ BBC Radio 3 - Feature - Bulgaria's Voice - 23 August 2006
  26. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Joan Armatrading's Favourite Choirs - London Bulgarian Choir". 21 May 2008.
  27. ^ Bithell, Caroline (2014). A Different Voice, A Different Song : Reclaiming Community through the Natural Voice and World Song. Oxford University Press. p. 213. ISBN 019935457X.
  28. ^ "Latest CDs and DVDs December 2011/January 2012". fRoots.

External links[edit]