Radiant beauty: Dobrinka Tabakova's Concerto for Cello and Strings - Britten Sinfonia

Radiant beauty: Dobrinka Tabakova’s Concerto for Cello and Strings

Marketing Director Shoël Stadlen is looking forward to seeing Laura van der Heijden perform Dobrinka Tabakova’s concerto.

Bulgarian-British composer Dobrinka Tabakova is very humble and understated – when we were both working together as arts administrators at Sound and Music, I knew she was a good composer, but I had no idea that her career was taking off and about to fly high.

Not many composers have their first full album released on ECM Records, and fewer still have their debut nominated for a GRAMMY award. Dobrinka’s String Paths is a remarkable achievement, with the Concerto for Cello and Strings the centrepiece of the album.

The concerto’s second movement, ‘Longing’, is one of those slow movements that are completely unforgettable. When I first listened to it on CD, I was bowled over by it, and I must have re-listened to it at least ten times that week.

String Paths had fantastic reviews from journalists:

‘How can barriers of language, borders, epochs, and above all ideas of what should be new in new music, be overcome? The Bulgarian-British composer Dobrinka Tabakova simply does it. … We haven’t heard such courage for a long time.’ – Die Zeit

‘a landscape of increasingly luminous timbres, spiralling upward at the ecstatic close’
The Chicago Tribune on Concerto for Cello and Strings

But perhaps even more impressive are the thoughts of those who bought the CD. Looking reviews on the Amazon website, it’s striking how many newcomers to new music and even to classical music have bought the album and fallen in love with it:

‘Discovering Dobrinka Tabakova’s music is like 2001 Space Odyssey – a whole new world opening up.’

‘I’m mostly a Rocky, Folky, Punky, Souly, Jazzy, Electronic Wierdy kinda guy – but this was love at first listen for me. What can I say – it moved me. It’s just such great music.’

‘Legal tripping on inspirational music! It has the capacity to drag one through the rear of a wardrobe into Narnia. Its rich string symphonies create purple passages through the peaks and valleys of the imagination, not unlike the sensation of reading Keats or Byron for the first time.’

Come and see the fantastic cellist Laura van der Heijden and the players of Britten Sinfonia perform it live!

Britten Sinfonia with Laura van der Heijden

Wednesday 1 March | The Halls, Norwich
Thursday 2 March | The Apex, Bury St Edmunds