artist biography

A First Prize winner of the Claude Debussy International Piano Competition in France and Italy’s International Piano Competition of Senigalia, Bulgarian pianist, Pavlina Dokovska has gained worldwide recognition touring Europe, the Far East, and the Americas, receiving enthusiastic critical acclaim. Known for her insightful and caring teaching methods which have produced many well-rounded artists, Ms. Dokovska is the Coordinator of the Piano Department at Mannes College The New School for Music in New York City.

Her first appearance as a soloist with orchestra was at the age of 11 with Russe Philharmonic (Bulgaria) as a result of winning the national competition. Since then, she has made numerous appearances with European orchestras, including performances in Germany (Berlin Radio Orchestra, Augsburg Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, Turingen Phiharmonic), Luxembourg (Radio Symphony), Romania (Bucharest Symphony, Bucharest Radio Orchestra, Cluj Symphony, Timisoara Symphony, Oradea Symphony), the Slovak Republic (Bratislava Symphony), Poland (Wroclaw Symphony, Olsztyn Symphony), and on a tour with the Sofia Philharmonic in West Germany. In the Americas, she has appeared with the Billings Symphony, Great Falls Symphony, Austin Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Roanoke Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, St. Cecilia Chamber Orchestra (all in the US), UNAM Symphony Orchestra (Mexico), and Havana Symphony (Cuba). In addition, Ms. Dokovska has performed at Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Frick Collection, Merkin Hall (New York City), National Gallery (Washington D.C.), Gardner Museum (Boston), Berlin Radio Hall, Wigmore Hall (London), Gasteig Hall and Herkulessaal (Munich), Atheneum (Bucharest), Smetana Hall (Prague), Salle Gaveau (Paris) La Scala (Milan), Bosendorfersaal (Vienna), Luxembourg Radio Hall, National Opera Hall (Taipei), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), National Center for the Performing Arts (Beijing), and numerous concert venues in her native Bulgaria.

Festival performances include Salzburg Festival (Austria), Mai Musical Bordeaux (France), Spoleto Festival (Italy), Liszt Festival (Princeton, NJ), Prague Autumn Festival (Czech Republic), Ruhr Klavierfestival (Germany), International Apolonia Festival (Bulgaria), International Music Festival “Sofia Musical Weeks” (Bulgaria), Beijing International Music Festival and Academy (China), International Keyboard Institute and Festival (New York), PianoArts International Music Festival (Milwaukee, Wisconsin).

An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated in recitals with the great Bulgarian basso Nicolai Ghiaurov, sopranos Stefka Evstatieva and Krassimira Stoyanova, basso Mikhail Svetlov, violinist Robert McDuffy, and cellist Nathaniel Rosen.

As a recording artist, she can be heard on GegaNew, RCA, Koch International, Naxos, Arcadia, Elan, Labor Records. Ms. Dokovska’s affinity for French music is evident in many of her recordings, including a CD dedicated to Les Six (Koch Schwann), which was listed as a New York Times “Critic's Choice.”

Pavlina Dokovska got her initial music education in Bulgaria where she was a student of Lydia Kuteva at the Music High School in Sofia. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the National Academy of Music, working with Julia and Konstantin Ganev (students of the legendary Heinrich Neuhaus). As a recipient of the French Government scholarship, she spent summers studying with Yvonne Lefébure in Paris. Ms. Dokovska obtained her Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School, as a Fulbright Scholar and a student of Beveridge Webster. Pavlina Dokovska is the Head of the Piano Department at Mannes School of Music, Founder and Artistic Director of Mannes Festivals and Southwest Virginia Festival for the Arts. She is a frequent adjudicator at various competitions and festivals.