Dobrinka Tabakova was born in 1980 to a family of scientists, doctors and academics in Plovdiv, Bulgaria; in 1991, she moved with her family to England, where she eventually graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama and then earned a doctorate in composition from King’s College, London. Her music has won awards since she received, at age 14, the Jean-Frederic Perrenoud Prize & Medal at the Fourth Vienna International Music Competition.
Further prizes included the GSMD Lutoslawski Composition Prize in 1999; the prize for an anthem for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 (with the work, Praise, performed in St. Paul’s Cathedral); and the 2007 Adam Prize of King’s College, London, for the song cycle Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Music. In 2011, Tabakova won first prize at the Sorel Medallion in Choral Composition in New York.
Tabakova’s recent major premieres include her Centuries of Meditations for orchestra and chorus at the 2012 Three Choirs Festival in England. Others include On the South Downs, performed by cellist Natalie Clein with the West Sussex Youth Orchestra and Choirs; and her Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, by Evelyn Chang and City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong. Janine Jansen performed Such Different Paths across Europe with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. The Academy, led by Julian Rachlin, also performed Tabakova’s arrangement for viola and strings of Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata on a tour of the U.S.
Her Concerto for Cello and Strings, commissioned by the Amsterdam Cello Biennale for Kristina Blaumane and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, was premiered in 2008 at Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw. Tabakova’s Sun Triptych for solo violin, cello and string orchestra has also received numerous performances, including in the Salzburg Mozart Week with Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica and London Festival of Bulgarian Culture with Kristina Blaumane and Sofia Soloists.