Tuesday, 18 April 2023

Borislav Zgurovski

I first met Borislav through the modern format for the oral tradition, Youtube. He was one of the first accordionists from the Balkans to give away accordion secrets (wow!) in English (double wow!). And it was clear from his Youtube videos that he was a good player. After the sample lesson clips, which framed a torso covered mostly by an accordion, the voice would say "Thank you for watching that." It became somewhat of a meme in my household after a bit of attention someone would say in a Bulgarian accent, "thank you for watching that."

In any case, in addition to Borislav's youtube presence, he has a fantastic educational website for Balkan accordion students called BGaccordion.com, and the whole thing is available in English (wow!). The lessons consist of a score with ornaments and fingering, and a video of Boris playing the piece at a slow speed. I had bought a few of the lessons over the past years and unlike many resources claiming to teach Balkan accordion, his materials were effective and accessible.

When I made plans to come to Plovdiv I reached out to Borislav to see if we might bring our digital correspondence into the real world. Borislav quickly responded that we could get together and began his email with "Thank you for trusting me." I knew I had found the right teacher.

Before I left the New Orleans my Bulgarian friend Georgi told me, "just remember, if you bring an accordionist a bottle of liquer the world will open before you." Minutes before I was to meet Borislav for the first time I ran to the local store to pick up a bottle of Jameson. I'm not sure if it was the Jameson or complimentary personalities, or both, but Borislav and I hit it off immediately.