Macedonian and Balkan Folk Music

Kiril Belezhkov

Photo of Kiril Belezhkov in an embroidered shirt, playing the kaval in a forest clearing.

Kiril Belezhkov

Kiril Belezhkov is a Bulgarian professional kaval player. He was born in 1987 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He started to play the kaval at the age of 7 and his first kaval teacher was Prof. Dr. Lyuben Dossev. In 2006, he began to study at the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts in Plovdiv, where he took two majors: “Kaval performance” and “Directing folk groups.” Together with Prof. Dossev he published the collection, Piesi za kaval bez sûprovod iz repertoara na popularni narodni izpûlniteli, (Pieces for kaval without accompaniment from the repertoire of famous kaval players) part II (2011). In 2012, he became a Ph.D. student in the Department of Musical Folklore at Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts in Plovdiv. In 2018, he completed his Ph.D. in the specialty “Musicology and music art” with his dissertation, Trends in the development of kaval instrumental technique in the second half of the XX century. In 2020,panora he published part of his dissertation in a book entitled, The kaval in folk life and its spread in Bulgaria. In 2022, he published a book about Vesselin Hasabaliev, one of the last master kaval makers in Bulgaria.

As a kaval player, Kiril took part in different projects: with the rock band “Epizod”, the New Symphonic Orchestra, theSofia Philharmonic, the Bulgarian National Radio Folk Orchestra, and others. He received an award from the Music Academy Rector in Plovdiv for outstanding achievement in his coursework and musical performance (2007). He participated in international festivals and seminars in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Belgium, where he taught Bulgarian folklore and kaval. He is the winner of the first prize of the Seventh National Competition for Author's Works on the basis of folklore: New Bulgarian Music in 7/8 - Chepelare (2018).

Since 2009, Kiril has worked as a musician for the folk dance ensemble “Iglika” at the Regional Cultural Center in Plovdiv and has been a freelance kaval teacher with students from different parts of the world. Since 2017, he has led the Bitov Ensemble in the Summer Seminar at the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts in Plovdiv.