Tzenka Dianova was born February 9, 1971 in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, in a family of musicians. Her precocious talent and artistry were recognized early, enabling her to study with some of Bulgaria’s most distinguished pedagogues, such as Eleonora Karamisheva and Marina Kapatzinskaya, as well as world-famous pedagogues Dmitri Bashkirov and Tamas Vesmas.
Tzenka began her piano and theory studies at the age of three, first with her father, and two years later at the State School of Music in Pleven, where she completed 14 years of extensive studies in piano performance, chamber music, accompanying and theory of art and music. Her further studies included Bachelors and Magister of Arts at the State Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria, where she worked under the guidance of Russian pianist Marina Kapatsinskaya and Prof. Dimiter Kozev of Dimov String Quartet.
In 1998 Tzenka moved to Canada, where she completed a Masters Degree at the University of Victoria, working closely with many fine musicians, such as Bruce Vogt and Dr. Erich Schwandt. In the first months of her studies at the University of Victoria, Tzenka became interested in and devoted all her time to the performance of 20th and 21st Century music. She collaborated with some of Canada’s most distinguished composers, such as Gilles Tremblay, John Celona, Alcides Lanza and Christopher Butterfield, and has commissioned and premiered their works in Canada and Bulgaria.
Since her debut at the age of five, Tzenka has played numerous recitals throughout Bulgaria, Eastern Europe, Austria, Italy, Canada and New Zealand, including solo and chamber music, as well as concertos with orchestra. The pianist was one of the youngest artists to participate in the World Children’s Assembly in Sofia, 1978. She has recorded for Bulgarian National Radio and Television, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Radio New Zealand. In 2007, her performance of John Cage’s “Sonatas and Interludes” was selected by Radio New Zealand to be presented to the European Broadcasting Union.
Tzenka has been an active member and participant with the Bulgarian Society for Modern Music and has taken part in the International Festival of Modern Music Musica Nova in Sofia and the Tic.Toc International Festival of New Performance in Victoria, Canada. She has been a prizewinner at many national and international piano competitions.
Dr. Dianova has regularly performed as a soloist and orchestra member with the Pleven Philharmonia, Sofia State Academy Philharmonia, the Victoria Symphony and the Auckland Philharmonia. In 2007 she worked as an associate member of the Auckland Philharmonia, and is currently associated with the Victoria Symphony and Vancouver Island Symphony. She has taught at the Academy of Music, and the School of Music, both at University of Auckland, and at University of Victoria in Canada, and has given master classes world-wide.
As well as performing and teaching, Dr. Dianova has composed multimedia works; she performed her first two pieces, “VexEitas” and “First DeConstruction” (in collaboration with electronic music composer Charlotte Rose) in April 2007.
Tzenka recently recorded Eve De Castro-Robinson’s “Peregrinations” for piano and orchestra, with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and a solo CD featuring original transcriptions of the music of John Cage and Erik Satie, both for Atoll Records. Her book, John Cage’s Prepared Piano: The Nuts & Bolts, was published in 2008 by Mutasis Books in Canada.