Section Violinist Dilyana Zlatinova Tsenov joined the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra in 2015. However, she traveled from her NYC home to audition for another reason: “To spend more time in my favorite state of sunshine!” Dilyana was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and moved to the U.S. in 2002, to earn her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Montclair State University (N.J.) and her Master’s in Violin Performance from Manhattan School of Music.

Dilyana plays a modern American 1935 Carl Becker (Chicago), which she gleefully scored at auction and cherishes! “It is very difficult to choose an instrument and I had many doubts about other violins I was trying at the time, but when I played this one I felt like I was in love. I knew right away that I had to have this violin.”

Passionate Dilyana has difficulty choosing between many fond SWFLSO memories: the powerful and moving concerts and shared laughter and tears. But her favorite is probably filling in as concertmaster after receiving the call that our concertmaster and assistant concertmaster both needed to take off the following concert.

“This was such an honor and I was so happy and flattered. Playing this concert was an amazing and very exciting experience.”

Food-loving Dilyana has been enjoying this time by exploring recipes from all over the world. “It feels very satisfying when I am able to make great dishes on my own and not be dependent only on restaurants for a great meal.”

Multilingual Dilyana has been working on improving her Spanish since “South Florida has so many Spanish-speaking people, and that is a great motivation for me to learn a language that I can use on daily basis and get closer to this fun and rich culture.”

High-demand Dilyana is constantly on the road during a regular season, also performing in Palm Beach, Orlando, Sarasota, West Palm Beach, Miami and even commuting back to NYC for two orchestras or appearing with her string quartet, STRATUS4 based in Fort Lauderdale.

Now she has been comforted by the opportunity to get back to basics instead of scrambling in performance mode.

“I love playing scales and etudes. In our busy professional lives, there is always so much music waiting to be practiced on my stand. I absolutely love what I do, but a lot of the time I feel like I am trying to catch up. Perfecting our craft is a luxury which now I feel that I have finally the time to do.”

We too love what Dilyana does and are so proud to have her many gifts grace our stage! As our patron, you will get to hear Dilyana when the Southwest Florida Symphony returns to the stage in Season 59 1/2! We can barely wait!

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