Serbian twins win Norwegian hearts

After the Norwegian choir sang “Zum Zum” in Serbian in Belgrade, Serbian Teofilovics sang a song in Norwegian at the Trondheim festival.

As unique interpreters of Serbian traditional and archaic songs, the Teofilovics performed last week in Norway at the "Transform" festival. It is a world music festival, which gathers around 100 participants from different countries and takes place on several locations in downtown Trondheim.

“We had the opportunity to present our work in the central hall of the Cultural Center DOKK, in a beautiful gallery, and we were guests at the Faculty of Music in Levanger where we performed a program for students and professors,” says Ratko Teofilovic for Blic.

The Teofilovic twins, Ratko and Radisa, were born in Cacak, Serbia. This is where they first got into the world of music in 1983 by joining a local choir. Their professional recording and concert career began in the early nineties with a recording of thirty musical numbers for national radio and television. 1998 saw the publication of their debut album Cuvari sna (Dream Keepers), and as such was an important turning point in their career. This album, a collection of fifteen traditional Serbian folk songs, was immediately well-received, being warmly greeted both by music professionals and by the public at large. 

Their vocal interpretation of the traditional folk music and music culture of Serbia and the Balkans has grown grown into their lifelong commitment. In their vocal interpretation of this traditional poetic and musical heritage they insist on an authentic, never-before-used-form, a two-voice a capella, which has become their professional musical signature, helping them to forge a unique position in the Balkan musical scene.

The Teofilovics have held a great number of concerts in almost all European capitals, as well as in Japan and the United States but they are especially linked to Norway. Namely, their first ever performance abroad was in Trondheim in 1997.

“Exactly 20 years ago, our first appearance abroad was at the Circus Festival in Trondheim, and the audience was thrilled with our performance. Again, we felt a wonderful, emotional reaction. Knowing what the audience awaits us in Norway, we came up with the idea to sing the old Norwegian poem "Per Spelman" as a gift for them at the end of the concert,” says Rastko.

And they were right, it was a wonderful surprise for the audience that seem to have truly enjoyed it.