Svetlana Rybalchenko

Svetlana Rybalchenko

National singer
Country: Russia

Biography of Svetlana Rybalchenko

Svetlana Rybalchenko is a national singer and the leader of the "Chibatuha" group. Born in Belgorod, Russia, she grew up surrounded by traditional Russian folk songs. From a young age, she was exposed to the rich melodies and harmonies of these songs, which would later become a significant part of her musical career.

As a student, Rybalchenko went on folkloric expeditions, immersing herself in the intricacies of traditional Russian music. She discovered the beauty and uniqueness of these songs, their multi-voiced nature, and the importance of preserving their authenticity. Inspired by her experiences, she decided to modernize folk music, combining it with contemporary arrangements and electronic instruments.

Rybalchenko believes that modernizing folk music does not impoverish it; instead, it allows it to reach a wider audience and ensures its continuous appreciation. She carefully arranges each song, dressing it up while preserving its essence. For Rybalchenko, folk music is a reflection of her roots and heritage, something she cherishes deeply.

Her performances have received praise from both the general public and fellow folk musicians. People appreciate the way she brings new life to traditional songs, making them accessible and enjoyable for younger generations. However, some traditionalists criticize her approach, questioning her interpretation and arrangement choices. Nevertheless, Rybalchenko remains committed to advancing folk music in a way that respects its origins and traditions.

Rybalchenko's passion for folk music stems from her upbringing, as she grew up in a large family where singing and music-making were common. Her great-grandmother had twelve children, and their gatherings were reminiscent of a folk ensemble, with each family member singing in harmony. These gatherings, filled with singing, spinning, and embroidery, instilled in Rybalchenko a deep appreciation for her cultural heritage.

In addition to her Russian roots, Rybalchenko also has a connection to Latin America. During a tour in Colombia with her group in 1987, she met her future husband, Miguel, who was their interpreter at the time. After the tour, they lost touch but reconnected three years later and eventually got married. Rybalchenko fondly remembers Miguel's warm reception by her family and speaks highly of his caring and gentle nature.

Rybalchenko's son, Antonio, shows an interest in music and often accompanies her to performances. He has a deep appreciation for both Russian and Latin American songs, and Rybalchenko hopes to introduce him to the bayan, a traditional Russian instrument. However, she is hesitant about him pursuing a professional music career, recognizing the dedication and hard work required. Instead, she encourages him to explore other interests, such as computers.

Svetlana Rybalchenko's dedication to preserving and modernizing folk music has made her a prominent figure in the Russian music scene. Through her performances and arrangements, she continues to celebrate her cultural heritage and inspire audiences to appreciate the beauty of traditional Russian folk songs.