Magazine Feature / People

Lamont student bolsters library’s Bulgarian music collection

Gergana Argirova sees her piano as a way to build a bridge between her native Bulgaria and the new home she loves. She’s using money from a University of Denver program to introduce DU students to the music of her homeland.

The sophomore piano performance major was preparing for her annual recital and scouring the Lamont music library looking for a traditional Bulgarian piece. Finding nothing in the DU archives, she turned to the Internet without much luck.

“So many of the people that I’ve met here at DU have expressed an interest in Bulgaria — the food, the music and culture,” she says. “I thought it would be fun to play something traditional for my recital, something different from the standard pieces,” she says.

With help from her faculty adviser, music librarian Suzanne Moulton-Gerig, Argirova applied for and received a $1,000 grant from the Partners in Scholarship program to purchase musical scores and CDs for the music library.

During her holiday break, Argirova will travel home to Bulgaria to meet with professors and pianists. She’ll also do research on traditional Bulgarian piano pieces at the national library in Sofia. 

Argirova, who began playing at the age of 5, knew she wanted to attend a foreign college and travel the world. 

“When I came to DU, it was the first time I’d been in the United States,” she says. “I love everything about this place, the people, the environment, the professors — it’s been such an exciting experience.”

She was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of campus. “I never would have imagined that I’d have friends from all over the world, from Japan and China,” Argirova says.

Argirova hopes that her contribution to the music library will allow others to explore and learn about her culture. “I love to talk about Bulgaria and share everything about it,” she says. “I hope that through this music other people will get to explore it too.”

The works are expected to be added to the Lamont music library early next year.

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