Albena Danailova was born in Sofia as the daughter of a violinist and a pianist. At the age of five she began her musical education with Nely Jeleva and Dora Ivanova at the music school and academy in her home city.
After graduation from high school, she studied violin performance at the College of Music and Theater in Rostock and in Hamburg with Petru Munteanu. She finished her degree in 2001, having augmented her studies by masterclasses with Ida Haendel, Herman Krebbers and others. In the same year she received an engagement as second violinist in the Bavarian State Orchestra, advancing in 2003 to section leader of the first violins and in 2006 to first concertmaster. In this same capacity, she also served in the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the 2003/04 season.
On September 1, 2008, she became the concertmaster of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra.
This prize winner of numerous competitions (2nd Prize “Kloster Schöntal”, Tibor Varga-Special Prize", semi-finalist at the Moscow “Tchaikovsky Competition”, First Prize “Vittorio Gui”, etc.) has, in addition to her work as an orchestral musician, established an equally successful career as soloist and chamber musician.
Albena Danailova appears regularly in Bulgaria, Deutschland, Israel, and the USA, among others. She has made recordings for Deutschlandradio Kultur, the North German Radio, as well as for television and radio in her home country, and, since the beginning of this season, as leader of the “Ensemble Wien” (as the successor to Paul Guggenberger and Rainer Honeck).
She has appeared twice as a Philharmonic soloist: On January 24, 2009, she performed Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat major, Hob I:105 at the Salzburg Mozart Festival with Tamás Varga, Harald Hört and Michael Werba under the direction of Seiji Ozawa and in October 2009 she was captivating in the violin solo of Richard Strauss' tone poem, “Ein Heldenleben”, at the 2nd Subscription Concerts conducted by Georges Prêtre, a performance repeated in a concert in the Vienna Konzerthaus as well as at the “Concert for Austria” in the Brucknerhaus in Linz on October 26, 2009, which was broadcast live on ORF 2.
Albena Danailova is a professor of violin at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. She plays a violin loaned by the Austrian National Bank.