Budapest producer, Nikola Parov, not only constructs modern chamber-folk arrangements… but also plays a staggering array of instruments himself.– Geoffrey Himes, The Washington Post
Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, Nikola Parov first played the mandolin at six. His grandfather, a professional musician, immersed him in the musical traditions of the Balkans at a very early age. Nikola began formal instruction in piano and cello at ten, shortly after he moved to Budapest where he lives with his family.
Nikola studied regional folklore and at twenty became a full time musician, forming the group Zsaratnok which gained wide recognition on the European scene. He collected instruments and performed the musical heritage of the Balkans, releasing several succesful albums including
Now a key figure in the folk music world, Nikola Parov"s commitment to culture and music studies was acknowledged by the George Soros Foundation and the Academmy of Science in Budapest. With their support he spent several years meticulously researching and documenting the history, culture and instruments of Balkan music.
In the early eighties Nikola discovered Celtic music through Irish musician and songwriter Andy Irvine. He collaborated with Irvine, Davy Spillane and Bill Whelan as a multi-instrumentalist presenting East European music on projekts such as the East Wind album and tour. In 1993 composer Whelan invited Nikola to be part of the original Riverdance production in Europe, The United States, Australia, and Canada. He appears in all three Riverdance videos and on the albums Riverdance and The Roots of Riverdance.