Mongol Artist of the Month: Batzorig Vaanchig

Morin khuur player and Khoomei singer from Khusugtun Ethnic Band

Batzorig Vaanchig was born in 1977 in Galuut sum, Bayankhongor province, over 600 km away from the capital city of Mongolia as the youngest of 5 children. His father Vaangchig is a vet while his mother Dondmaa is a middle school music teacher, as such, she influenced him greatly in his music career. His mother can play all traditional Mongolian musical instruments on top of accordion and sing beautifully.

He grew up going to boarding school in the province center during the school year and going to the countryside and helping his grandparents with livestock during spring and summer break. As a boy, he very much enjoyed Morin Khuur (horse head fiddle) and Mongolian traditional long song. He would listen to kharkhiraa khoomei on the radio and imitate and eagerly awaited the rare Morin Khuur performance music on the national Mongolian radio channel as there was no internet nor TV where he grew up.

He dove into Mongolian folk music world when his mother brought him a Morin Khuur when he was in the 6th grade and started practicing playing it everywhere he went, on the mountains and cliffs as he watched over the animals. After graduating from middle school, he auditioned and was accepted into the Mongolian Cultural College to his and his family’s great delight. In college, he made friends with various artists from all over the country and refined his art by learning from his peers from Khovd province. Consequently, he qualified to perform in the most prestigious theater the Mongolian Grand Theatre of National Art.

He is a father of three, and a husband to a talented Mongolian craftswoman and lives in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Currently, he is on a mission to develop and promote this ancient Mongolian art form within Mongolia and throughout the world.

Watch him perform live in Riga, Latvia on September 11-15, 2019 with Auli, the best folk band of Latvia.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Born in 1977 in Galuut soum, Bayankhongor province 
  • 1985-1995 Studied at the secondary school #1 in Bayankhongor province 
  • 1995-2000 Studied at the horse-head fiddle class at the Institute of Culture, Ulaanbaatar city and graduated as a music teacher and a musician.
  • Since 2000 has been working as a musician at the Mongolian Grand Theatre of National Art.
  • In 2009 together with colleagues he has founded the “KHUSUGTUN” ethnic band next to the Theatre and since then he has been working as a horse-head fiddle player and throat singer until today.
  • In 2014 Composed an original song “Tal Saihan Nutag” while acting in episode 10 of Marco Polo Netflix series.
  • 2015 & 2016 Runner up in Asia’s Got Talent

AWARDS:

  • 2008  The “BEST THROAT SINGER” title from the National Competition of Throat Singers of Mongolia
  • 2008  “The Best Staff of Culture” award from the Mongolian Trade Union
  • 2009  Special prize from the “Earth Breathing” – The International Competition of Throat 
  • Singers organized in Ulaan-Ude, Russian Federation
  • 2009  Awarded a title “Best Officer of Culture” of Mongolia
  • 2014 The 2nd place as a Soloist-vocalist-instrumentalist at the “MIR Siberia” Ethnic Music Award Competition, the International Ethnic Festival ‘Music and Crafts of Siberia-2014’, Krasnoyarsk city, Russia
  • 2015 & 2016 Runner up in Asia’s Got Talent as Khusugtun Ethnic Band
  • 2018 North Star award by the government of Mongolia for his outstanding accomplishments in his profession

Leave your questions for Batzorig in the comments section. We will publish an interview with him about his upcoming concert in Europe!

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