The Bulgarian pianist, Marietta Petkova, studied 7 years at the local conservatory in Rousse, graduating in 1986 with the school's Gold Medal). Then she spent a year at the Music Academy Sofia, studying with Lili Atanassova and Gina Tabakova. She then studied for two years at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna with Paul Badura-Skoda, who wrote about her:"Rarely have I had a student in whom intelligence, feeling and technical ability are so perfectly matched. Despite her young age Marietta Petkova is a fully matured artist. When she performs she is completely immersed in the music and thus capable of deeply moving her listeners, including this one." In 1989-1990 she was 'resident artist' at The Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada. In 1990 she decided to live in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where she studied with Jan Wijn at the Sweelinck Conservatorium, graduating in 1994 with the highest possible distinction. Jan Wijn (in an interview in Pianowereld): "Marietta Petkova is a natural born talent. When I heard her play for the first time, I thought that, in a previous life, she must have been a pianist already. The way she put her hands on the piano and treated the keys was very new for me. I had never seen anybody before with so much affinity with music and with the piano itself."Meanwhile, since 1989, Marietta Petkova took lessons with György Sebök (1922-1999) as well, especially in Ernen (Switzerland). Sebök turned out to be an invaluable master for her. "Everything which I'll learn, I'll learn from him", she said in 1999.
Marietta Petkova was only 10 years old when she won the Grand Prix of the 1978 National Piano Competition in Bulgaria. Further prizes followed in: Italy, Salerno 1981, Senigallia 1985, Enna 1989, Cantù 1993; Czechoslovakia, Ustinad Labem 1983: 1st Prize and 'Tibor Katai Award' at the 'Virtuosi di Pianoforte' Competition; Bulgaria, Sofia 1983, Pleven 1984; Portugal, Lisbon 1987: 'Vianna da Motta' Competition; Austria, Vienna 1988: 'Rombro Stepanow' Competition; Switzerland, Vevey 1989: 2nd place at the prestigious 'Clara Haskil' Competition; The Netherlands: Rotterdam 1990: winner (ex aequo) of the Eduard Flipse Competition, winner of the Yamaha Music Foundation Europe Award 1993, of the 3rd Prize at the 1994 Scheveningen International Music Competition, of the 1994 'Toonkunst Jubileum Prize' and of the 'Helge Domp Prize'. In 1993, in France, she was awarded the prestigious title 'Lauréate Juventus' by the European Council's 'Fondation Claude-Nicolas Ledoux'.
Marietta Petkova performs all over Europe, in North America and in Japan, especially with solo recitals, but also in chamber music and as a soloist with orchestras like the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of The Netherlands, the Dutch Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen and the Kammerorchester Arcata Stuttgart.
Regularly Marietta Petkova appears in the most important Dutch concert halls, like the Grand Hall of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Other halls worth mentioning are the Beethoven Haus Bonn (1994), Liederhalle Stuttgart (1995), Théâtre de la Ville (1995), Salle Pleyel (1999) and Théâtre du Châtelet (2001) in Paris, National Gallery in Washington (1995), Palacio Nuñez in Madrid (1998), Tonhalle Zürich (1998) and Salle Paderewski in Lausanne (1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002). She has performed in various international festivals: Montreux-Vevey (1989), 'Carinthischer Sommer' (1990), St. Riquier (1993), Lille (1994, 1995), 'Juventus' (1993, 1994, 1995), Dijon (1995, 1996), Rotterdam Philharmonic Philips Gergiev Festival (1996), Yokohama International Piano Festival (1997), Festival Chopin in Paris (1994, 1998), 'Piano Zomer Festival' Leeuwarden (1999), 'Festival der Zukunft' in Ernen (2000) and 'Flâneries Musicales de Champéry' (2001).