Imer Brizani awarded a medal by President Pahor

At a special ceremony on 7 April the President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor awarded Imer Brizani for his creative contribution to the promotion and visibility of Roma culture in Slovenia.

Tanja Benedik

Traja Brizani
Photo: Internet

Imer Brizani is one of the most creative Roma musicians in Slovenia. In 1996 he founded the group Amala, which tries to preserve the rich Roma musical heritage, while also occasionally combining the features of traditional Roma music with the elements of other music genres. Brizani is also active in music pedagogy, ensuring workshops for young Roma musicians. He collected and edited a number of Roma and world heritage songs as well as composed some of his own. In his book Le ostanite, Romi gredo! (Just Stay, the Roma are Coming!)  he described the history of Roma people, their customs, skills, beliefs, fairy tales, poetics and language and presented a collection of sheet music of the most well-known Roma songs.

"A culture without tradition is devoid of meaning and impoverished through  a lack of innovativeness and modernity. I belong to the Roma nation, which is marginalized everywhere. Therefore I try to set an example and change this; my guiding principle is intercultural dialogue, " said Imer Brizani in his speech when accepting the award. Brizani has dedicated his life to enriching the Roma culture and building a bridge between tradition and modernity.

At the ceremony in the Presidential Palace, the group Amala, currently composed of Imer Brizani, guitarists Izidor Erazem Grafenauer and Uroš Rakovec, vocalists Neža Drobnič and Miha Vanič, flutist Anja Burnik as well as Brizani's own son, a talented and successful young cello player Bernardo Brizani, performed two pieces of music, Mura and Tu, composed by the prizewinner himself under the artistic name of Traja.