The Concerto for Cello and Strings by Dobrinka Tabakova was written in 2008. It had its premiere with cellist Kristine Blaumane and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. Blaumane also recorded the work for an ECM album dedicated to Tabakova’s music.
Dobrinka Tabakova was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, in 1980. She wrote her first composition when she was 8 years old. After her family moved to London, she attended the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She is in great demand now with commissions being requested from all over the world. Tabakova has written concertos for viola and piano solo as well.
Although the concerto is in three movements, the composer prefers to think of it as “one seamless form- a journey.” The first movement, titled “Turbulent,” presents folk-like melodies mixed with powerful flourishes reminiscent of Bartok.
The second movement, “Longing,” is slow and plaintive as the cello quietly emerges out of the orchestra’s droning with long, steady notes. The strings begins to play in a minimalist style while the solo instrument soars about the undulation of its counterparts.
Rachel Grimes, with Jacob Duncan (saxophone), Christian Frederickson (viola) and Scott Moore (violin), performed a members-only set from her new album “The Clearing” at Louisville Public Media. June 15, 2015. rachelgrimespiano.com/the-clearing/