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Dorina Markoff is an internationally acclaimed violinist with numerous accolades from her broad performing career. She was born in Bulgaria, educated in the United States and has established London as her permanent residence. Dorina has collaborated with some of the world's leading artists, conductors and composers of all genres.

dorina markoff violin

Dorina Markoff grew up in a small apartment in Bulgaria after her family's possessions and properties were confiscated by the newly established Communist regime. Dorina’s maternal grandmother was forced to study abroad; she graduated in Zagreb, Croatia, the first Bulgarian specialist in the education of deaf people. She was the founder and director of the first school for children with hearing difficulties in Bulgaria. 

Also a trained educator and child psychologist, Dorina’s mother recognised her daughter’s interest in music at an early age and bought her a small gramophone which became Dorina’s best friend. Dorina was accepted by the Music School in Sofia aged five, one of twenty children from hundreds of candidates. She began her studies with Irina Dragneva and Russi Dragnev, exceptional pedagogues with immense imagination and positivity and spent her final four years at the School in the class of Valentin Tchoparinov, who introduced her to Barbra Streisand, jazz and the versatility of music. Dorina continued her studies at the National Academy of Music and in her second year accepted a tutti first violin job in the Sofia Philharmonic. 


Subsequently she gained a place in the Mahler Youth Orchestra under the direction of Claudio Abbado. Her audition resulted in an invitation to join the European Mozart Academy, where she met Mark Kaplan, Pnina Salzman, Aurele Nicolet, Jessy Read, Yuri Zhislin and many other musicians, after which her musical life took a different course. 

dorina markoff violin

I have worked with some of the best orchestras and soloists....I can confidently say Dorina Markoff is a world class violinist whose unmatched skill complements everything she plays.


Having her perform the main theme of 'Orgoglio' and all the soundtracks we worked together was an enriching and exceptional experience, a real added value.


There has always been great artistic affinity between me and Dorina and I never thought that she was “just” a performer but I always believed that her soul added something special and great to my music.

Stefano Mainetti

dorina markoff violin

After her return to Sofia, Dorina auditioned for the newly formed orchestra in Sao Paolo, and shortly after departed for Brazil. Subsequently she received a call from Mark Kaplan inviting her to apply for the music program at UCLA.


Dorina arrived in Los Angeles with a scholarship which covered only one third of her tuition. In her first year at UCLA, playing numerous auditions and winning a number of awards and scholarships, she gained the recognition of the Faculty and the University which granted her a full scholarship. Mark Kaplan had a profound and formative effect not only on her playing, but also on her outlook and thought process.

Dorina became part of the UCLA quartet and a leader of the orchestra. She met many distinguished musicians including Jerry Goldsmith, Lalo Shifrin, Kenny Burrel, Herbie Hancock, Robert Winter, and many young talents who would become leading composers. This is where her love for film and different music genres finally crystallised and her future path was set.


After obtaining her Masters Degree, Dorina returned to Bulgaria and began leading film sessions in Sofia where she collaborated with some of Europe's most distinguished film composers including Ennio Morricone, Bruno Collet and Andrea Guerra. She was invited to become Concertmaster of the Orchestra of Academia Chigiana in Siena, Italy and a year later, following audition, was appointed Concertmaster of the National Opera and Ballet in Sofia.

My work with Dorina has always been marked by a great spirit of mutual musical understanding and respect.


We collaborated for almost 10 years when she was Leader of the Radio Orchestra of Sofia in her native Bulgaria and where I recorded the first scores of my career as a film composer. Her performances were always superb and went together with her flawless communication and contagious friendliness.


Thank you Dorina for all the amazing musical gifts you have given me.

Andrea Guerra

dorina markoff violin

In search of fresh challenges Dorina began auditioning for orchestral positions around the world. Between 2007 - 2010 Dorina was on trial for senior positions in seven orchestras in the UK, including the London Philharmonic, BBC SSO, BBC CO, BBC SO, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and at Opera Australia. 


Dorina moved permanently to London and a decade of relentless touring followed. After the birth of her first son, she became a studio musician for Isobel Griffiths Ltd, one of the biggest film score contractors in the world.


Dorina is finally in her element - the world of cinema - surrounded by like minded people. At present she divides her time between an active concert career as a soloist and chamber musician, Abbey Road and Air Studios in London and performing with a number of leading chamber orchestras.


She teaches at King’s College School.

Dorina’s concert format Bring up the Music in which she combines not only all musical genres, but different stage art techniques, is gaining more and more popularity.


Her blog Markoff Productions represents Dorina's belief that historical and musical knowledge can be presented in a contemporary, informal and accessible way. 

dorina markoff violin
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