Tzvetanka Varimezova was born in Bulgaria and received a B.A. degree in choral conducting and folk instrument pedagogy from the Academy of Music and Dance in Plovdiv. She was a soloist and assistant choral director for a number of professional women’s choirs in Sofia, including the Bulgarian National Ensemble of Folk Song and Dance. Ms. Varimezova has many solo recordings to her name and is well-known for her brilliant, high-pitched tone quality and her interpretations of the highly ornamented songs from her native Pazardzhik region. She came to the U.S. in 2001 to teach at UCLA and has also conducted many workshops in Greece, Denmark, Japan and France. In the summer of 2005, Ms. Varimezova, along with her husband Ivan, organized the first international tour for the UCLA Balkan Ensemble, which included concerts throughout Bulgaria and a performance in the International Folk Festival in Bourgas.