Like many other composers of her generation, Dobrinka Tabakova had a bi-cultural upbringing, which explains some of the many influences heard in her music.
Tabakova was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and since 1991, has lived in London. Even as a teenager studying composition, conducting, and piano in the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music, her compositions were winning awards. She went on to attend the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (where she won the 1999 Lutoslawski Composition Prize for In Focus) and King's College London (where she won the 2007 Adam Prize for Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Music), as well as taking summer courses in Paris, Prague, and Milan. Tabakova has written for solo piano and organ, string orchestra, choir, chamber ensembles, and more. She also has completed two short operas. She's written a few works for fellow Guildhall student, violist Maxim Rysanov. Her music has been commissioned for the Three Choirs Festival and for Britten centenary events at Wigmore Hall. The first album devoted solely to her music, String Paths, was released in 2013 by ECM, while individual works appeared on earlier recordings on the Avie, BIS, and Hyperion labels. Her music is often very melodic and richly sonorous. Bulgarian folk music; Renaissance and Baroque harmonies and forms; and minimalist gestures can all be found in her work, but are always evoked in an original way.