WorldView Episode 31: Dobrinka Tabakova

       Works by British-Bulgarian composer Dobrinka Tabakova have been performed worldwide, including by the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields and in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II  at her Golden Jubilee. The grammy nominated artist, now 42, is an active voice in the redefinition of modern classical music and is featured in the thirty-first episode of WorldView.

       Dobrinka Tabakova was born in the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 1980, the daughter of two medical physicists. The family moved to London in 1991, and at age 14 Tabakova placed at the 4th International Competition of Music in Vienna. She studied at the London Royal Academy of Music, and was awarded a PhD in composition from King’s College. Since graduating, Tabakova has held a variety of orchestral and compositional positions, working with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and BBC Concert Orchestra (composer-in-residence since 2017). 

       In 2013, Tabakova’s collection “String Paths” was nominated for the “Best Classical Compendium” award at the 56th Grammy Awards. It remains one of her most well-known albums, including works such as “Concerto for Cello and Strings” and “Insight”. Her compositions have been featured in several original film soundtracks and at music festivals across the globe, and Tabakova remains a prominent figure in modern classical music. In 2019, the American Record Guide stated that her works “display radiant tonal color and show a style built on close harmony, gentle dissonances, tonal parallelism, and often unresolved tonal suspensions.”

       In this episode, the Choir of Merton College at Oxford performs Tabakova’s work “Alma Redemptoris Mater “ (Sweet Mother of the Redeemer). The piece was included in a 2014 album entitled “The Marian Collection”, recorded by the Choir and conductor Benjamin Nicholas. It’s based on a 16th century hymn of the same name, itself based on a libretto from over twelve hundred years ago. 


WorldView Episode Thirty-One Playlist:

Aulis SALLINEN, “Concerto for Flute and Orchestra”, {Tapiola Sinfonietta, Okko Kamu, Petri Alanko (fl)} – Naxos

Dobrinka TABAKOVA, “Alma Redemptoris Mater”, {Choir of Merton College, Oxford, Benjamin Nicholas} – Delphian 

Virgil THOMSON, “Symphony on a Hymn Tune”, {New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, James Sedares} – Naxos

Jan LADISLAV DUSSEK, “Sonata for Harp”, {Erica Goodman} – BIS


WorldView is a classical music radio show featuring composers from everywhere in the world – except Western Europe. Tune in to hear works by lesser-known artists such as Irving Fine and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, and widen your knowledge of classical music. Hinke Younger hosts each week’s episode of WorldView on Mondays at 9AM and 6PM (with a rebroadcast Saturdays at 2PM) on

Tags: , , , ,


Become a Sponsor

Underwriting WTJU is a way to broadly share information about your business. It’s also a way for your business or organization to gain community-wide recognition for your support of WTJU’s community mission.

Underwrite a Program


Your gift nourishes our community and helps bring people together through music.

Underwrite a Program