In partnership with the Ardenza Foundation


Learning “in situ” of Bulgarian monodic and polyphonic songs in Rila in Bulgaria.


Carrying a strong emotional charge, Bulgarian songs have intrigued and upset beginner/experienced listeners and singers for many years now. Coming from a country located at the crossroads of Civilizations, composed of several ethnographic regions, crossed by a history rich in twists and turns, these songs are characterized by various musical stylistics. This master-class, organized by the ARDENZA Foundation in Bulgaria, will be led by Milena Jeliazkova, singer of the BALKANES quartet and teacher of Bulgarian Songs at the International Institute of World Music ( and will briefly explore these various regions through the secular and sacred polyphonies offered.


Milena JELIAZKOVA will lead a 5-days master-class taking place as follows:

  • Musical work – about 4 hours a day
  • Excursions: RILA Monastery, Bulgarian wine cellar, Stob pyramids..
  • Sharing meals and musical vigils in the evening


The cost of registration includes:

  • Educational costs
  • Accommodation for 5 nights in common areas (rooms for several people or dormitories, sheets and blankets provided), provide your personal bath towel
  • Meals (without alcohol, wine or other spirits at the expense of each, local cuisine with fresh local products)
  • Excursions

Participants will continue to bear the costs of travel and transport between Sofia and Rila



Bulgarian and French citizen Milena JELIAZKOVA began her piano and singing studies at the age of six with Kristina Boeva, professor emeritus of the Academy of Musical Arts in Plovdiv. At the same time, she took lessons in traditional songs and dances with her mother, a singer and dancer in “Ensemble TRAKIYA” (Thrace). After eight years of both, classical and traditional training in her country, she devoted herself to rhythm & blues for three years, and invested, in France, with the BALKANES, quartet of Bulgarian a cappella polyphonies, in traditional Bulgarian singing and the world of Slavonic and Byzantine sacred songs. A graduate of ARSEC/NACRe (MASTER 2 in cultural management), she conducted researches on traditional Bulgarian singing as a vector for the preservation of Bulgarian collective identity, and worked as a communication and dissemination officer with the director of the Amphitheatre of the Opéra de Lyon and for the Baroque Music Ensemble Le Concert de l’Hostel Dieu. Milena has been singing since 1997 in the Balkan Quartet which performs on national and international stages in France, Switzerland, Italy, Bulgaria, Tunisia, Germany, USA, Canada… and at many festivals. Her eclectic musical tastes have led her to become increasingly interested in the traditional songs of the world in general and the various singing techniques attached to them. Since 2006, she created with Jean-Pierre Caporossi and Tony Canton the project KËF – elektro Balkans. Milena also sings in the Henri AGNEL Company, which explores medieval and contemporary Mediterranean repertoires and with which she tours in France and abroad. In 2017, she co-founded SIBYLLES TRIO with Françoise ATLAN and Milena ROUDEVA. She composes and produces arrangements for the four ensembles, co-animates vocal workshops for all audiences, teaches Bulgarian singing at the International Institute of World Music and offers vocal and stage coaching to beginners and experienced singers (graduate of Harmoniques, Paris.)

Experiences: Since 2003, workshops led by Music and Dance Agencies in different regions of France (Centre, Brittany, Rhône-Alpes, Alsace, Basque Country …) and abroad – Switzerland, Mayotte, USA. Internships with Conservatories of Regional Influence and Music Schools, at the request of organizations such as CEPRAVOI (, private vocal centers, professional and amateur choir directors, theaters and festivals of sacred and world music. Project over 6 months, in 2019, with the Maîtrise de la Loire – direction of the Grand Choeur of 90 people on the occasion of Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019. Regular teacher at the International Institute of World Music, Aubagne (