2014 Rila Music Exchange Information

Background Info:

Rila Music Exchange was founded in 2012, when Sofia Hogstadius and Myriam de Bonte shared their vision for an international ethno event in Bulgaria with Daniela Dikova and Geoffrey Dean of the Ardenza Foundation and everyone said “Yes, let’s DO this!”  And so they did. And as Rila ME participants often remark, it’s “rila grape” (really great) because the shared experience of learning new tunes and performing them with your ethno music partners from around the world is a path to discovering the Rila (real) YOU. Along the way, you’ll meet – and sing and dance with – a lot of friendly Bulgarians of all generations who will catch the ethno spirit again this year because of you. 



Please plan to arrive in Sofia on the morning of Saturday Aug. 30, and indicate your arrival time and method (car, bus, train, or plane) on your application form so we can help you get to the Rila mountain town of Rila, located between Blagoevgrad and the famous Rila Monastery. After a week of intensive ethno music workshop sessions and concerts in the Rila region, we will travel to the spectacular high-altitude Rila Lakes before our final concert in Sofia. 


Housing and Meals: costs covered by your participation fee



Sofia Hogstadius (Sweden) – violin and Kieren Alexander (Australia) – accordion. Guest leaders in 2014 are Valeri Dimchev (Bulgaria) - tamboura and Dessislava Dimcheva (Bulgaria) - voice.


Schedule of the Music Exchange sessions will be announced at the opening gathering at 3PM on Aug. 30th


2014 Concerts:

Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 5PM in town of Pastra (at the Chitalishte) (a

Wednesday, Sept. 3 at 5PM in town of Smochevo (at the town square) (

Thursday, Sept. 4 at 7:30PM in city of Blagoevgrad (at Macedonia Square) (

Friday, Sept. 5 at 6PM in town of Rila (at the town square)

Saturday, Sept. 6 in town of Mursalevo (time/place TBA)

Sunday, Sept. 7 in city of Sofia (at the Art Hostel, time TBA)




Organizing Committee:

Myriam de Bonte (Belgium), Sofia Hogstadius (Sweden), Geoffrey Dean (USA), Daniela Dikova (BG)


For more info contact: Geoffrey Dean      +359 884 21 60 11                 ardenza@abv.bg