Dobrowen worked with both Nikolai Medtner and Artur Schnabel, among other well-known musicians. He was also a close friend of the Russian writer Maxim Gorky, and the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen. He conducted his last concert with the Oslo Philharmonic in December 1952. His last concert was held on 19 January 1953, when he conducted the Stuttgart Orchestra. He died 9 December 1953 in Oslo at the age of 62.
Relatively unknown today, he wrote piano music reminiscent of Sergei Rachmaninoff. Interest in Dobrowen as a composer has started to increase, thanks to a small number of new recording projects, involving the editing and collation of orchestral parts for his Piano Concerto in C♯ minor, Op. 20, which he himself played in a number of countries. As well as the concerto, whose style and orchestration recall Medtner, Rachmaninoff and Alexander Scriabin, three of his piano sonatas and a violin sonata have also appeared on disc in recent times.