The Bulgarian conductor, Emil Tabakov, graduated in 1974 from the Bulgarian State Music Academy in Conducting and Double-Bass. In 1978 he received Diploma in Composition at the Bulgarian State Music Academy. In 1977 he was the winner of the Nikolai Malko International Competition for Young Conductors in Copenhagen.
Emil Tabakov's first engagement was from 1976 to 1979 as conductor of the Russe Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1979 to 1987 he was Music Director and Conductor of the Sofia Soloists Chamber Orchestra. In 1987 he was appointed as Principal Conductor of Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1994 to 2000 he was Artistic Director and Conductor, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, and from 1998-2000 Artistic Director and Conductor of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra.
Emil Tabakov is well-known world-wide touring with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra and as guest conductor with orchestras in Germany, England, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, France, Italy, Russia, Spain, Romania, Austria, Switzerland, United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Brazil, Israel, Netherlands and other countries. Maestro Tabakov was hailed as an outstanding interpreter with opera performances in Italy conducting Charles Gounodís Faust with Samuel Ramey, and Belliniís Norma and recently, with Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin with Mirella Freni.
As guest conductor during the 1998-1999 concert season Emil Tabakov toured with the Orchestre National díile de France, conducted four concerts in Lisbon, two concerts in Arena di Verona and toured with the Philharmonia Hugarica-Germany. During this time, he also toured with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra in Germany and England receiving outstanding reviews. The 2000-2001 season has Maestro Tabakov with engagements in Portugal, with the Orquesta Metropolitana de Lisboa, in France with the Orchestre National díile de France, and at the Sale Pleyel, concerts in Arena di Verona and others.
Noted as an exceptional conductor in Europe, Emil Tabakovís strengths as a conductor have evoked descriptions of "disciplined, without being drilled and subtle without being mannered" and "enormous scope for expression." The breadth of Maestro Tabakovís repertoire is enormous, showing a variety of styles from classical and romantic to contemporary genres. His recording output is formidable and among them are: The complete Gustav Mahler Symphonies in a 15-CD set, the complete Johannes Brahms Symphonies, Overtures and German Requiem, Richard Straussís Alpine Symphony, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakovís Sheherezade, the complete Scriabin Symphonies, the complete L.v. Beethoven piano concerti, Béla Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra, The Miraculous Mandarin, the Verdi Requiem, and highlights form Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, Un Ballo in maschera, La Forza del Destino and other works.
Emil Tabakov is striking in his versatility as a musician in that he also plays the Double-Bass and is known as a significant Bulgarian composer with dozens of works to his credit. Many of his compositions have been awarded prizes by the Union of Bulgarian Composers and have been frequently perfumed in Bulgaria and abroad. They include Four Symphonies (1981, 1984, 1988, 1997), Concerto for 15 Strings (1979), Concerto for Double-Bass (1975), Concerto for Percussion (1976), Concerto Piece for Trumpet (1985), Turnovgrad Cantata (1976), Two Ballets, Sashka (1967) and Elena from Pristis (1969), Astral Music (1978), Ad Infinitum for symphonic orchestra (1992), Requiem for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra on Latin Words (1994), Concerto for Orchestra (1995), Concerto for Violin, Vibraphone, Marimba, Bells and Mixed Choir (1996), and many other chamber works. He is currently at work finishing his Symphony No. 5. Several of his compositions have been recorded: Symphony No. 3, Concerto for Orchestra, Concerto for 15 Strings, Astral Music, and Concerto for violin, vibraphone, marimba, bells and mixed choir. Live broadcasts of his works include: Requiem, Symphony No. 1, Symphony No. 2, Symphony No. 4 and Concerto for Double Bass.