BBC Concert Orchestra appoints new composer-in-residence

Composer Dobrinka Tabakova takes over the creative helm of BBC orchestra

Published: January 26, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Dobrinka Tabakova has been appointed as composer-in-residence at the BBC Concert Orchestra, a role that will see her work with the orchestra for an initial period of three years. Her first orchestral commission is scheduled for the 2018/19 season and will be premiered at London’s Southbank Centre.


As well as drawing on the London-based composer’s existing work, the BBC Concert Orchestra will work with Tabakova on three commissions from BBC Radio 3. She will also use her expertise for programming concerts, recordings and learning projects.

Tabakova was born in Plovdiv in Bulgaria in 1980 and has lived in London for the past 25 years. Recent compositions include Immortal Shakespeare, a cantata to celebrate the Bard’s 400th anniversary, and commissions by the Royal Philharmonic Society, Radio 3 and the Britten Sinfonia. She also has residencies at Truro Cathedral and with the Leipzig MDR Orchestra.

The composer takes over from jazz musician Guy Barker who has been the orchestra’s associate composer for the last four years. Barker’s enthusiasm for new works led to high-profile premieres at the BBC Proms and EFG London Jazz Festival.

‘I am thrilled to be invited to join the BBC Concert Orchestra and their team as composer-in-residence,’ says Tabakova. ‘The orchestra’s repertoire is uniquely versatile and reaches an impressively varied audience.’

BBC Radio 3’s controller Alan Davey is delighted about the appointment: ‘It is wonderful to welcome Dobrinka into our BBC orchestras and choirs family,’ he says. ‘The BBC Concert Orchestra’s adventurous spirit and Dobrinka’s creative musicality are a perfect match and I look forward to showcasing the results of their partnership to our audiences.’

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Neil McKimFormer Production Editor, BBC Music Magazine

Neil McKim is the former Production Editor of BBC Music Magazine. He is now the production editor of BBC Sky at Night Magazine.

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