26-30 August 2010


Skopje, Macedonia

Ilija Atanasov - conductor
Ernes Ibraimovski – soloist (tenor)
Sonja Sterjevska - soloist (alto)

Competition Concert

Title Composer
Mattona Mia Cara Orlando di Lasso
The Only-Begotten Son Dmitry Smirnoff
Kumanovka IV Trajko Prokopiev
I’m Gonna Sing Traditional spiritual arr.

Concert of Sacred Music

Title Composer
Credo P. I. Tchaikovsky
Blessed Is The Man P. Tchesnokoff
Bless The Lord, My Soul S. Rachmaninoff
Aliluja Zapro Zaprov

"Vardar", the City Mixed Voices Choir, was established in the year 2000 by a group of enthusiasts, former members from many generations of the "Mirče Acev" Academic Choir and their conductor Dragan Šuplevski. The choir follows the tradition of the first city choir of the same name in Skopje from the beginning of the XX century.

The choir repertoire is comprised of pieces by various composers coming from various time periods. However, the ensemble focuses mostly on Orthodox church music and works of Macedonian composers. Mr. Ilija Atanasov took charge of the choir in 2001, thus marking the beginning of the permanent growth of "Vardar". Ever since 2002 the choir has full-time concerts of sacral music around Macedonia (Skopje, Radoviš, Gevgelija and Veles). "Vardar" regularly performs at choral events in Macedonia such as TEHO-Tetovo, choral festivals and cultural summers. They also perform abroad (Poland, Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro) and its performances are well accepted and rewarded both by the general audience and by the experts. The concerts of the choir are recorded and broadcasted on many TV stations in Macedonia and a Christmas concert they held in Podgorica, Montenegro was aired via terrestrial and satellite by their national broadcasting company.

Ilija Atanasov, the conductor, graduated choral conducting, musical theory and pedagogy with Prof. Dragan Šuplevski at the Faculty of Music Arts in Skopje in 1996. He received his master's degree at the FMA with Prof. Saša Nikolovski Gjumar and specialized in conducting with Prof. Valery Uspensky in St. Petersburg, Russia. He also attended master classes with maestro Yury Simonoff.

When the "Vardar" choir was founded, Ilija Atanasov was assistant conductor to Prof. Šuplevski and in 2001 he took the main position of this choir. Maestro Atanasov also simultaneously works with children and high school choirs.

Ilija Atanasov has won several awards with his choirs such as: Third Place Award at "Days of Mokranjac" 2009 International Music Festival in Negotin, Serbia (choir "Vardar"); Third Place Award at Orthodox Church Music International Festival 2009 in Haynowka, Poland (choir "Gortinia"); Second Place Award at Ohrid 2009 International Choir Festival in Ohrid, Macedonia (choir "Gortinia").

Maestro Atanasov participates at choir conducting seminars and workshops representing Macedonian choral music.

Ohrid Choir Festival 2010Ohrid Choir Festival 2010Ohrid Choir Festival 2010Ohrid Choir Festival 2010Ohrid Choir Festival 2010Ohrid Choir Festival 2010

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