In 2008 the Bulgarian violinist Albena Danailova became the first female concertmaster in the history of the Vienna State Opera and since September 2011 is also the first female musician elected to this position by the Vienna Philharmonic.

Danailova was born in Sofia into a musical family and began her music education at the age of five. Later she studied at the music academies of Rostock and Hamburg, graduating in 2001. Masterclasses with Ida Hendel, Herman Krebbers, Luis Kaplan, Andreas Reiner und Stefan Georgiu completed her musical education. In 2001 Danailova was appointed to the orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and subsequently promoted to concertmaster in 2006. Danailova also held the same position at the London Philharmonic Orchestra during the 2003/04 season.

A scholarship holder of the Deutscher Instrumentenfonds, Danailova has also been awarded prizes by numerous contests (2nd Prize at the “Kloster Schöntal Competition”, the “Tibor Varga” Special Prize, semi-finalist at the Tchaikovsky competition, and 1st Prize of the “Vittorio Gui Competition” as well as 1st Prize for duo with piano).

As a soloist and chamber musician Albena Danailova makes regular guest appearances at festivals in Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, Israel and the United States, and has performed with orchestras including the Mozart Orchester Hamburg, NDR Sinfonieorchester, Kammerensemble Concertino, New Symphony Orchestra, Sofia Soloists, Sofia Philharmonic and others. She has recorded for Deutschlandradio Kultur, the NDR, and television and radio broadcasts in her home country.

At a Vienna Philharmonic concert conducted by Seiji Ozawa in January 2009 Danailova performed as a soloist in Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante at the Mozartwoche in Salzburg.

Albena Danailova’s chamber music partners include Nikolaj Znaider, Monika Leskovar, Milana Cherniavska, and Sallem Abud Ashkar, among others.

Since the beginning of the 2011/12 season Danailova is first violinist of the Ensemble Wien, a chamber music group drawn from the ranks of the Vienna Philharmonic.