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Vanja Lazarova - Doyenne of Macedonian Folk Music Passes Away

The doyenne of the Macedonian folk music Vanja Lazarova passed away at the age of 86.


She will be remembered as a great artist, and one of the best performers of original folk songs.

Vanja Lazarova – Dimitrova was born on 27 April 1930, in the village of Stracin, Kratovo. For a while, she worked at the Opera at MNT, and she was also a member of “Tanec” State Ensemble of Folk Dances and Songs.


She sung about a hundred Macedonian original folk songs, most of which were recorded in production of MRT. She has performed at a great number of concerts, on several continents. She sung in The Royal Albert Hall in London, in front of the British queen Elizabeth II, and Prime Minister Vinston Cervil.

She had a special contribution in the collaboration with the band “Anastasija” for creating the soundtrack for Milco Mancevski’s “Before the Rain”. Her vocal is especially susceptible for the synthesis in ethno-music.

Vanja Lazarova sang with different folk ensembles. She was a member of the ensemble of Macedonian Radio Television, and she also performed with the Macedonian Philharmonics. She is the first Macedonian singer to record records for the greatest record labels Polygram and Philips. She received numerous international music awards during her lifetime.

She contributed greatly to the soundtrack of Milco Mancevski’s “Before the Rain”, which received the “Golden Lion” award at the Venice Film Festival in 1994.

“Third Ear” production company published her first three albums: “Macedonian Traditional Love Songs” – distributed in Europe, America, and Japan, “Ritmistica” – in collaboration with leading Macedonian music names, and “Cradle” – in collaboration with the American guitarist Miroslav Tadik. Her last album “Genofonija” was made in collaboration with band Nav.

“I Was Born with Suffering”, Petro Petrolenko”, “They Praise Her to Me a lot, Granny”, “The Steamer Left”, “Gurga Lay Down on Flat Threshing Floor”, “On the Meadow Cold Spring lies”, are just some of the songs she has sung, and recorded.

Vanja Lazarova was a recipient of the “11 October” award for culture and art in 2014.

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