One of the most prominent contemporary Bulgarian conductors, composers, and authors of symphonic music, Emil Tabakov was born in Rousse on August 21, 1947. As a student at the School of Music and Arts in Rousse, he takes part in the concerts of the Rousse Philharmonic Orchestra. Together with some of his classmates he formed a chamber orchestra, conducted it and started writing his own music.
In 1974 he graduated from the National Academy of Music Prof. Pancho Vladigerov in Sofia with specializations in Conducting, Contrabass, and Composition. In 1977 he was the laureate of the Nikolay Malko Conducting Competition in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Emil Tabakov began his professional career in 1976 as a Conductor of the Rousse Philharmonic Orchestra and held that post until 1979. From 1979 to 1988 he was the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Sofia Soloists Chamber Ensemble. From 1985 to 2000 he worked with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra and in 1988 became its Music Director and Chief Conductor. From 1994 to 1999 he was the Chief Conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra. From 2002 to 2008 he was Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in Ankara. From 2008 to 2015 he held the office of Chief Conductor of the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra.
In 1997 Emil Tabakov was appointed Minister of Culture during the in the temporary government led by Mr. Stefan Sofianski.
He is a member of the Union of Bulgarian Composers.
Works and Recognition
Emil Tabakov’s symphonic and opera music includes nine symphonies, concerts for various instruments, symphony orchestra plays, a requiem, chamber and solo works, and two ballets, and is performed both at home in Bulgaria and abroad in Germany, Portugal, USA, Japan, Finland , France, Mexico and other countries.
Over the years, he has been invited as a guest conductor of the orchestras in various countries around the world, including England, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Russia, Australia, Singapore, Ecuador, and others. Along with composing own music, he recorded more than 250 symphonic and opera works on CDs for partners in the US, Germany, the Netherlands, and other countries.
Emil Tabakov has also been awarded a number of prizes for his works including Man of the Year by the Cambridge International Bibliographic Center and Musician of the Year based on audience rankings of the 1992 Alegro Vivace program. He was awarded the 2009 Crystal Lyre prize by the Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dance Practitioners and was selected as one of the 100 Best Professionals according to the 2012 International Biographical Center in England.
According to the critics, the Emil Tabakov’s works are dynamic and explosive. For him, as he himself says in various interviews, music is not fun, but a mission, and perhaps his extraordinary working capacity, productivity, tirelessness, and dedication to music owes much to this attitude. Through the decades in the classic music world, he has become greatly respected for his perfectionalizm, extremely high repertoire goals, great rigor, and uncompromising performance.
In his career, Maestro Emil Tabakov has also faced professional clashes with the musicians in some of the Philharmonic Orchestras he has led. It is likely that his perfectionism and rigor would not have found complete resonance in the performers, or, maybe, his creative ideas over time are actually due for an update. What is the truth is something that only he and his musicians know. The conclusions we leave to you, our readers, and link the articles to some of the media that have reflected these inevitable in any professional career challenges.
- Official Maestro Emil Tabakov’s Website
- Bulgarian National Radio
- Union of the Bulgarian Composers
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