11 - 19 February 2021
  Veliko Tarnovo

Director:  Kaloyan NIkolov

Due to the pandemic situation, hoping to overcome the crisis, the organizers are extending the deadline for submitting applications and conducting the competition from 10 - 18 December 2020 to 11 - 19 February 2021. Doing this, the organizing committee hopes to give more time to prepare and make new recordings, and to encourage more music art lovers to take part in the competition.
World Cup of Folklore™ - RFS - 150
International Instrumental Competition “GOLDEN KEYS” - ONLINE
for accordionists - soloists, ensembles and orchestras
Euro Folklore Academy
Saint Peterburg's State Institute of Culture, Russia
The competition is held within the framework of the Musical Feasts “Euro Folk”.
With the assistance of:
World Association of Folklore Festivals – WАFF
European Association of Folklore Festivals – ЕАFF
The evaluations of performers and collectives who have participated in the competition program will be valid for the World Ranking of Folklore /World ranking list of folklore/ in category G) Folklore instrumental groups - folklore music (orchestras), appraisal category - International / World Cup of Folklore™ - RFS - 150
The First Online International Instrumental Competition “GOLDEN KEYS” is open to accordionists - soloists, standard or mixed ensembles and orchestras that include at least one accordion in the instrumental composition of the ensemble. Students in pre-professional, professional (from music schools, colleges, conservatories, academies, universities and other institutions and organizations from around the world), as well as non-professional performers can take part in the competition.
The main idea of the competition is to reveal, support and develop the artistic potential of musicians in preserving the national heritage. Participation in this online competition will help to represent the art of music of many cultures internationally, and preparation for online participation will lead to an increase in the level of stage skills and experience of participants.

Purpose of the competition:

- drawing public attention to modern trends in the development of folklore instrumental music;
- supporting of creative and innovative activities in music education;
- identification of the most gifted among young participants and support in the development of their creative potential
- expansion of international professional contacts among leaders, conductors and teachers of folklore instrumental culture;
- giving a new impetus to the development of musical traditions of the peoples of the world;
- activation of interest in folklore instrumental music and creative achievements of performers, composers, teachers in their art projects;
- identification of gifted young musicians from among the participants for educational institutions of professional and pre-professional training.

Preliminary program:

15.09.2020 – 09.02.2021 – acceptance of applications and videos
11.02.2021 – 17.02.2021  – acceptance of viewers' ratings of  the performances of participants
17.02.2021 – jury commission meeting
19.02.2021 – publication of the results according to the judges’ and spectators’ decisions
19.02.2021 – online meeting of art directors and jury

Conditions for participation:

To participate in the competition, participants need accreditation, which is carried out on the following conditions:
  • Those wishing to participate in the competition should fill in an application for participation and send a video of their performance.
  • For each soloist or collective, a separate application should be filled in.
  • Individual performers and groups from all over the world can take part in the competition.
  • No age limit for participants.
  • Participants are responsible for complying with copyright and related rights laws.
  • Applications for participation are accepted until 09.02.2021 
  • After sending the application, you will receive a confirmation of participation.
  • During the filming of the video, the works must be performed by rote!
  • Participants must submit one video by email or a video link to YouTube or Google Drive. It is allowed to send one link with two songs.
Requirements for video files:
- Amateur and professional videos taken no more than 1 year ago are accepted.
- For non-professional recordings, use your camera's highest resolution and shoot horizontally with a tripod. Group performances must be filmed in a general plan. Before submitting the recording, check if it has audio or video defects. Recommended video format .mp4 - 8 MB, HD.
- It is allowed to use videos filmed during festivals from the system of EAFF or other competitions and concerts.
- In the title of the video file, write the title of the work and the name of the group; for individual performers - title of the work and surname of the participant.
  1. Individual performers (solo)
    1. Accordion - chromatic (with any keyboard system);
    2. Accordion - diatonic (concertino, harmonica, bandoneon);
  2. Ensemble: A typical accordion ensemble or mixed ensemble with an included accordion;
  3. Orchestras with an accordion or typical accordion orchestras;
Age groups of participants in the "Individual performance (solo)nomination:
First group: up to 6 years old;
Second group: 7 - 9 years old;
Third group: 10-12 years old;
Fourth group: 13-15 years old;
Fifth group: 16-18 years old;
Sixth group: 19-25 years old;
Seventh group: over 25 years old.
Age groups of participants in the "Ensemble" nomination (up to 12 participants inclusive)
First group: up to 18 years old inclusive;
Second group: no age restrictions;
Age groups of participants in the "Orchestra" nomination (from 13 participants and more)
First group: up to 18 years old inclusive;
Second group: no age restrictions;
In the groups "Ensemble" and "Orchestra" up to 30% of participants of a different age can participate.
  1. Traditional folklore
  2. Processed folklore or music adapted from folklore themes
Participant program requirements:
Soloists – 1 performance, 2 to 6 minutes
Accordion ensemble - 1 performance, 3 to 7 minutes
Orchestras with accordion / s (brass, folk, symphonic) - 1 performance, 3 to 10 minutes
The participant chooses the program of the performance himself, including traditional, original works or author's compositions in which adapted folklore themes are used.

Participation fee:

For participation via video online:
  • Soloist - 25 Euro
  • Ensemble (up to 5 participants inclusive) - 35 Euro per group
  • Ensemble (up to 12 participants inclusive) - 75 Euro per group
  • Orchestra (13 participants or more) - 150 Euro per group

Evaluation and awards:

The jury of the Competition includes leading musicians and experts from different countries in the field of folklore instrumental art, teachers and conductors.

Jury Chairman - Prof. Nikolay Kravtsov - St. Petersburg, Russia - St. Petersburg State Institute of Culture - Russia, Department of Folk Instrumental Art, Faculty of Arts, SPbGIK. Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, Candidate of Art History, Professor, Laureate of the St. Petersburg Government Prize, holder of 2 grants from the Russian Performing Arts Foundation (2005, 2006), full member of the International Academy of Informatization at the UN; laureate of the "Golden Book of the Fatherland".

Prof. Kazys StonkusVytautas, Lithuania - Vytautas Magnus University - Music Academy. Head of Accordion department,  Lithuanian National Accordionist‘s Union – president, Baltic States Accordion Council – president, Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes (CIA) Official NGO partner of UNESCO – member of Music Committee

Prof. Wen Quan - Dalian, China. Dalian art collage, Director of teaching and research section of accordion.

Vesselin Dzhankardashliiski - Stara Zagora, Bulgaria - longtime accordion teacher at the Hristina Morfova Secondary School in Stara Zagora, co-author of accordion training programs; founder of music festivals. Holder of the Order of Cyril and Methodius First Degree, Award of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria "Golden Age - Seal of Tsar Simeon", the title "Honored Community center Worker" of the Union of Community centers and many more. etc.

Namkhai Buyanbaatar - Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Musician and folk orchestra conductor, Music and Dance College. 1986 – 2006 Musician, National Grand Theater of Folk Music and Dance;  Since 2006 – General Conductor, National Grand Theater of Folk Music and Dance. Honored artist of Mongolia.

Evaluation criteria:
  1. Technical mastery;
  2. Realization of the artistic concept in revealing the musical and image idea of the work;
  3. Stage presence, artistry.
The performances of the contestants will be evaluated on a 60-point system for each criterion, and the final result will be the arithmetic mean of the individual evaluations of the jury members. The results will be announced at the end of the competition.
Participation certificates will be sent to all participants by email.
In each category and age group, depending on the level of performance and on the total score of the jury, participants receive titles:
  • Laureate I degree (Gold diploma) - from 150.01 to 180.00 points
  • Laureate II degree (Silver diploma) - from 120.01 to 150.00 points
  • Laureate III degree (Bronze diploma) - from 90.01 to 120.00 points
  • Diploma (Copper Diploma) - up to 90.00 points

The number of diplomas for laureates is not limited.

GRAND PRIX – The soloist, duet or group who received the title of the 1st degree Laureate (Golden Diploma) with the highest number of points upon receiving the assessment, receives the GRAND PRIX competition diploma.
State, public, creative unions, mass media, institutions, firms and individuals, in agreement with the organizing committee and the jury of the competition, may establish special prizes and awards for the participants of the competition.
The jury has the right, based on the results of the competition:
1. Do not award all awards;
2. To award special awards to the participants of the competition, which were established by state and public organizations and individuals;
3. The jury's decisions are final and not subject to change.
Videos of all participants will be published on a specially created platform on the EAFF website on 11.02.2021, from which the online voting of viewers will begin. Voting will continue until 23:59:59 CET on 17.02.2021. After this deadline, viewers' votes will not be taken into account when compiling the result. The winner will be determined by the number of audience votes. The participant / -s with the best result will receive the “Audience Choice” Diploma.
ONLINE MEETING of art directors and participants. The working group of the European Association of Folklore Festivals - EAFF understands the need for a lively connection between like-minded people and colleagues in the field of folklore arts. Given the circumstances caused by the global pandemic, the EAFF provides an opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas through an online meeting. Each leader, if he wishes, will be included in the online meeting and receive an invitation to his email address.
By submitting the application, the Participants agree that photo and video materials with their participation will be stored in the archives and used by the organizers in the production of various information and television products in whole or in part as well as publication on the EAFF website and / or in social networks for the purpose of popularization and development of the Musical feasts “Euro Folk” as well as provide the copyright and / or related rights on the performed work participating in the competition.
Participants do not receive honorarium or copyrights contributions.
The costs of money transfers are paid by the sender.
Completed applications for participation mean that the conditions laid down in this regulation are accepted.