THE MASTER OF THE IMPROVISATION & Rhythm & ornamentation

Petar Ralchev - about the music, the international projects and the unforgettable moments on the stage

The name of the famous accordionist has long been known around the world. There are fans in Europe, USA, Asia, and in the Balkans it is a real legend.

He has been working with musicians of different nationalities for more than a decade. Performs compositions in Bulgarian folk style, classical music, participates in ethno and jazz formations. Information about his contribution can be read in the French encyclopedic book "History of the Accordion" (1991) by Francois Billard and Didier Rousseau.

In recent years, he has most often performed with "Lobby" - a jazz sextet created by drummer Stephane Galland . The group includes Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan and several other famous instrumentalists. In 2014, they took part in a series of jazz festivals in Belgium, France and Algeria.

One of the professional challenges in recent years is my participation in a klezmer group. The musicians are from Europe, the USA, I am the only representative of Bulgaria - shares Petar Ralchev and continues.

Maybe not everyone knows the details, but this is the music of the Jews in Eastern Europe. Of course, over the years they have "borrowed" intonation material from the peoples with whom they lived together. There have been many interesting influences.

We got together on the idea of ​​Alan Bern (pianist, accordionist and composer from the USA, who lives in Europe). He decided to compare two styles that once existed simultaneously on the old continent. These are klezmer and the music of the gypsy lautari, spread in Romania, Moldova, Ukraine. We played for the first time at a festival in Helsinki, Finland.

Since then, we are constantly invited to various forums. Working with these musicians, as well as with Stefan Galan's band, is very interesting for me. It is a great honor to be on the same stage with such big names.

Let us note that before discovering the charm of klezmer, Petar Ralchev is happy to include in his repertoire author's plays, influenced by different cultures. In his albums we will find titles such as "Romanian Lautari", "Waltz Museum", "Serbian Circle" and others.

The most important thing is to love what you do, in my opinion - says Peter Ralchev. - No matter how much you want to constantly develop and improve. And at the heart of it all is a love of music. You have to live with that. Sometimes I don't play for days, but the thought of art doesn't leave me and I keep coming up with ideas. At the age of 5, I learned the first tune from my uncle and played it on the accordion. Then I studied with Kostadin Milarov in Pazardzhik, at the Music School in Plovdiv ...

I never thought I could choose another profession. Well, like any child, I once imagined that I could become a good football player. But I always knew that this was my destiny - music. The greatest happiness is when you enjoy the concert, your performance. The important thing is to have a conversation with friends on stage. And when you get the audience to react to what's happening, the feeling is even more exciting.

Copyright 2022 Petar Ralchev
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