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An Honorary Artist of the Udmurt Republic, Nadja Utkina is
a famous folk and pop singer in the Udmurt Republic and the larger
Finno-Ugric linguistic/cultural world which includes Udmurtia
as well as much of Northern Russia, Finland, Estonia, and Hungary.
Nadja Utkina sings traditional Udmurt folk songs (northern, southern and bessermyan's) and makes her own improvisations on them. She has composed more than 140 songs in the Udmurt, Russian and English languages, and since 1994, has performed all over Udmurtia, in all Finno-Ugric territories of the Volga region as well as Finland (1999), Estonia( 2000-2004), Hungary (1992,1996), Wales(2002), USA( 2003), and Norway (2005).
Born in 1966, her performance career started in 1983, in the Chipchirgan students folk-ethnographic band, which was formed to resurrect and promote the old Udmurtian folk songs. She also studied Romano-Germanic and Udmurtian philology in the Udmurt State University.
After graduating in 1988, she worked for three years as an English teacher. From 1991-1994, she worked with the first Udmurtian Show-Folk Theater ARGANCHI. In 1993, in the city of Krasnodar, she won one of the top prizes in an all-Russia contest for young singers.
Nadja Utkina has released four CD albums: Songs of Hope,1995; Wait for Me, 1997;Lulgur, 1999; and, Lulgur : Udmurt Folk Experience, in 2002. In 1997, she created her own band Lulgur.
In 2003, she was presented the LYRE AWARD, which is the highest Udmurt National Award for achievement in the performing arts. In the most recent years, Ms. Utkina has become well-known as a national arts-manager because of her successful international cultural projects (Music Britanica, 2002; Fantasies in "Ethno" Style , 2003; and the Izhevsk Valley Ambient Bell Project, 2004).
Nadja Utkina is now the Director of the non-profit foundation,
Cultural Capital of Izhevsk, the leader of two informal initiative
groups UTKA (Udmurt Tourism Creative Agency), and the Udmurt-
Welsh Friendship Society. In 2005, Ms. Utkina will be graduating
from the Russian Theater Arts Academy in Moscow.