A member of the Albanian minority in North Macedonia, Bashkim Paçuku was born on May 24th, 1955, in Debar/Dibra. He settled in
Kosovo, the part of then Yugoslavia where Albanians were the majority. After studies in Milano and Tirana, he worked for the Kosovo radio and
television choir in Prishtina, as a soloist, assistant director and voice coach. His solo career was very limited: according to his own
website, he performed only three leading roles in actual performances, Alfredo in
Zagreb, Nemorino in Sarajevo, and much later Lippo Fiorentino in Weill's Street scene in Boston. But he had enormous success at the
Opatija song festival (labeled the Yugoslavian San Remo), where in 1978 he scored the first prize for Kosovo.
In the cruel wars that marked Yugoslavia's collapse (and that hit Kosovo and the Albanians particularly brutally), Paçuku escaped to the
USA. He lived in New York City, in Boston, and in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he worked in the administration of the athletics department
of a local college. He occasionally continued to sing in public. At the tender age of 55, in 2010, he won the first prize in a certain Barry
Alexander Vocal Competition, and participated in the respective prize winners' concert at Carnegie Hall.
Picture and sound file source: Paçuku's website