Tales from the Balkans

Anja & Zlatna


Anja & Zlatna is a vibrant ensemble which fuses the beauty of traditional melodies from the Balkans and beyond with 17th-century practices and improvisations.

Its unique sound is due in part to its original approach to instrumentation featuring the harpsichord. Sometimes one hears guitars, cimbalom, accordion kaval or ney. Vocalists Anja & Zlatna vary their techniques from traditional European to the Bulgarian chest voice and unexpected percussive timbres offer new musical delights.

Anja & Zlatna invites you to an exciting insight into the Balkans. Whether about weddings, working on the field or the sorrows and joys of love, the Balkans’ memorable music brings a plethora of stories coloured with multiple interpretations. Shed a tear for a friend whose burdens are turning her hair grey, enjoy a lively wedding and imagine yourself dancing to that distinctive Balkan rhythm.

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre & Anja & Zlatna


Aleksandra ‘Anja’ Acker, Artistic Director, Voice
Kirsty Morphett, Voice
Donald Nicolson, Harpsichord
Andrew Tanner, Acoustic bass, Balalaika
Tim Nikolsky, Acoustic Guitar
Ryan Williams, Recorders
Matthew Horsley, Percussion, Uilleann Pipe


Traditional Bulgarian
Devojko mari ubava

Traditional Serbian
Udade se Jagodo

Dmitrie Cantemir (1673-1723)
Peşrev (instrumental)

Dragiša Nedović (1916-1966)
U lijepom gradu Višegradu

Traditional Italian
Ciuri ciuri

Blagoja Deskoski (b.1943)
Deskovo oro

Traditional Macedonian
More čičo rece da me ženi

Traditional Serbian
Ako češ se ženiš

Serbian Spiritual, arranged Andrej Andrejević (b.1975), lyrics by Holy Bishop Nikolai Velimirović (1881-1956)
Govori, Gospode (NB: this replaces Zasto su ti kose)

Traditional Serbian
Fijaker stari

Traditional Greek
Maria s’agapo


This production is part of the following series:

Anja & Zlatna

Ensemble Anja & Zlatna is known for its beautiful melodic lines and complex rhythms from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and beyond.