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Maria Alexieva was born in Vidin, Bulgaria where she started her musical education at the age of 4 at the City School of Music studying piano performance. Later on she gets accepted at the Vidin Music High School in the class of Albena and Asparuh Lisov followed by the Opera master class of Valerie Popova at the prestigious Sofia Music School.  A vocal student of Mila Dulgerova and  Gena Dimitrova- Maria begins coaching with the world famous professor and vocal coach Linda Bond-Perry.
In 1998 Maria gets accepted with full scholarship at THE BOSTON CONSERVATORY (major-Opera singing), and a few years later she gets accepted and receives another full scholarship at BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC (major-singer/songwriter and contemporary writing and production). She loves to sing Bulgarian, Balkan, jazz and pop music.
In her collection you can find 2 Boston Music Awards, A Night at the famous Apolo Theatre in NYC and performances with III Kings, Ruben Blades, Jason Greenberg, Dante Pontone and RNB, Pago, Paul Simon and many, many more... She performed in many European countries. Maria is a strong supporter and a proud active member of the Elizabeth Glasier charity foundation " KIDS 4 KIDS.  

At the moment Maria Alexieva writes for Sony Music/BMG and Universal Publishing Co in Milan-Italy with Maestro Antonio Galbiati, as a songwriters for world-famous American and European singers like Grammy winner Laura Pausini, Eros Ramazotti, Michael Buble and many more
A vocalist from Bulgaria, Vesela has been singing and learning various styles of music since she was a little girl. A graduate of Clark University, MA, she is currently enrolled in the Voice Performance program at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

For the past four years she has performed with various jazz groups, co-founded a world music a cappella group in college, and is a vocalist with Black Sea Salsa Band. Vesela also plays piano and the Native American flute. Her interests span from jazz and soul to world fusion and Balkan folk music.

As the lead performers at the concert, Ludo Mlado dancers will present their new repertoire in an evening full of Bulgarian rhythms from Thrace, Dobrudzha and the Shopski regions. With their intricate footwork and fast steps, the Ludo Mlado dancers will bring the beauty of the Bulgarian folklore to live!

Ludo Mlado is a semi- professional dance troupe based in Boston, MA. Choreographers of the troupe include a former professional dancer from the Bulgarian State Ensemble “Rodopa” and a graduate from the National Choreographic School in Sofia, Bulgaria.
More info on: www.ludomlado.com


Photo by Zara Tzanev

Gergana Haralampieva (15 years old) was born into a family of professional musicians in 1994 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She moved as a toddler to the Czech Republic where her parents worked. Gergana started playing the violin in age of five and in a short time she began winning first prizes in international violin competitions in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In 2005 she moved with her family to Boston where she continues her studies in New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School. Gergana is the winner of the Second Connecticut International Young Artist Competition, New England String Ensemble Concerto Competition, A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition, and NEC Preparatory School Concerto Competition.

She recently played on National Public Radio’s “From the Top” show and was awarded with Jack Kent Cooke Award, receiving a $10,000 scholarship.
Since September 2009 Gergana studies at Walnut Hill School for the Arts and she is a student of Paul Biss.

BOSTON GLOBE "Young Norwood violinist shows promise" >>

Kayden (6 years old) is an award winning classical guitarist who’s been featured in the Springfield Republican Newspaper and on Masslive.com.
He’s trained at the Community Music School in Springfield Massachusetts, and the Hart School of Music at the University of Hartford, Connecticut and has worked with internationally acclaimed artists Celso Mechado, William Kanengiser, Renaldo Guadalupe, The Newman-Oltman Duo, David Madsen, and Sharon Wayne as well as many other international guitar masters from 4 different continents.
At 5 years old, he was invited to be the opening performer at the Spring Chamber Concert at his local High School and has appeared in several Music School concerts, performed at various local retirement homes and played with the Suzuki Guitar Orchestra in Santa Clara, California in July.

He was opening performer at the 6th Annual Guitar Extravaganza at Yale University. “Four-year-old Kayden Behan opened the event with a jaw-dropping performance of Ayal's Celeste Y BLanco, and the Suzuki ensemble led by David Madsen was impressive for its sense of ensemble and dynamics, ‘ Verdery says. Julia Crowe, Classical Guitar Magazine.
This past summer, Kayden traveled to Nesebar Bulgaria to compete in the International Children’s Festival along with 2500 other children from 15 different countries. Kayden won 1st place Master & Artistic Guitar Performance all ages and was given a special Honor Award for Best Overall Instrumental Performance for children 6 to 12. More info on: www.kaydenbehan.com


Violeta Dontcheva is a renowned piano educator, performer and sound engineer, who has worked in the Boston area for the last 11 years. She has studied at the National Academy of Music in Sofia and at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Violeta's credits include various solo performances and records, as well as collaborations with some of the best New England orchestras and performers.


Russian-born pianist Dina Vainshtein has degrees from the Gnesins’ Institute of Music in Moscow, the Cleveland Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music. Ms.Vainshtein received a Special Prize for Best Collaboration at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1998). She has performed at prestigious venues around the world and her recording with violinist Frank Huang received critical acclaim. At present Ms. Vainshtein is a collaborative pianist for the Walnut Hill School and the New England Conservatory.


Recipient of the ASCAP Plus Award for the years 2002 through 2008, jazz pianist Eyran Katsenelenbogen has been on the faculty at New England Conservatory since 1996. A classically trained pianist with a "unique jazz style," Eyran has performed by invitation in concert and on radio and television around the world, including the United States, Europe and the Middle East. As an innovative and acclaimed improvisational jazz artist, Eyran Katsenelenbogen's recordings on record labels Jazzis, Savage, Oasis, and Eyran Records garnered rave reviews. Eyran was born in Israel.
Visit his website for more information:


Anna Yanakova started learning piano at age 7 with teacher Janica Janakieva, rapidly progressing in one year to this, her first performance. Anna is a talented beginning pianist, with a soft touch, clear tone, and understanding of music. 

Janica Janakieva, B.S., M.S. Music, Performance was privileged to have gifted pianist Milena Mollova as her teacher and mentor.


Bulgarian children vocal group "Madara" is part of the Bulgarian-American Center Madara children programs. It was found by the artistic director Violeta Jeliazkova in 2007. The repertoire of the group contains Bulgarian folklore songs, folklore songs with modern arrangements, world pop and ever green songs. Their performance contains songs and dances together. The group had performances at couple of major events in Boston area such as Bulgarian Cultural Festival 2008, Bulgarian celebrity Krassimir Avramov concert, Christmas "Sedianka", Bulgarian national day celebration and more.



Sringstep's mission is to celebrate dance and music traditions from cultures around the world. We strengthen communities as we encourage participation in, and appreciation for, these arts. Through the shared experience of dance and music, we nurture the human spirit and contribute to a healthy society.

Springstep collaborates with an extensive network of cultural organizations and community-based artists from throughout the Boston and New England region. We support their programs by providing staff assistance and our exceptional studio space at highly subsidized rates. Each of the groups or artists that hold programs here helps Springstep to achieve its mision of building cultural awareness about dance and music from many genres and world origins. Our continuing work with these groups and artists led us to develop a unique program model, our Affiliate Dance & Music Program.

The Bulgarian Ameican Center Madara is proud to be a Springstep Affiliate!


Todor Ialamov

Vasil Nenkov

David Flashenberg