Cellist Tanja Tetzlaff has been one of the most influential musicians of her generation for decades, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. Her playing is characterised in particular by a uniquely fine, at the same time powerful and nuanced sound, which is always accompanied by cultivated musicality. Tanja Tetzlaff is particularly interested in going beyond the presentation of classical music to include other art forms and to engage with contemporary events. For her special commitment to bringing the issues of nature conservation and climate change into the concert hall, she was appointed a lifetime ambassador by the German orchestra association "Orchester des Wandels".
In April 2021, Tanja Tetzlaff became the first scholarship holder to be awarded the highly endowed Glenn Gould Bach Fellowship of the city of Weimar. With the prize money, she was able to realise the film project "Suites4Nature", which relates Bach's famous cello suites to nature and issues of climate change. The film had its premiere in Weimar in April 2023 and will be shown in the coming months at the Vienna Film Festival, Bonn Beethovenfest, Kronberg Festival and in various cinemas, among others. This extraordinary project will be crowned with the Innovation Prize for Sustainability at the Opus Klassik Awards in October 2023. She will receive another Opus Klassik Award for the best chamber music recording in 2023, together with her brother Christian Tetzlaff and posthumously Lars Vogt, for their recording of the Schubert Piano Trios, released by Ondine.
Tanja Tetzlaff's special trademark is her extraordinarily broad repertoire. In addition to the major concertos of the standard cello repertoire, she is particularly fond of the cello concertos by Unsuk Chin, Witold Lutosławski, Jörg Widmann, Bernd Alois Zimmermann and the Double Concerto for Cello & Percussion by Rolf Wallin. In September 2022, she premiered the Double Concerto for Cello & Percussion by Olga Neuwirth with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and percussionist Hans Kristian Kjos Sørensen.
In the 2023/24 season, Tanja Tetzlaff will perform with the Odense Symphony, Prague Radio Symphony, Staatsorchester Braunschweig and Beethovenorchester Bonn, among others. As part of the Tetzlaff Quartet, she will perform chamber music at the Musikverein in Vienna, the Pierre Boulez Hall, the Bozar in Brussels and the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, as well as concerts with her husband Florian Donderer, the pianists Kiveli Dörken and Lauma Skride and the Signum Quartet.
Over the course of her career, Tanja Tetzlaff has performed with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Philharmonia Orchestra in London and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as well as Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra. She has worked with renowned conductors including Alan Gilbert, Daniel Harding, Philippe Herreweghe, Karina Canellakis, Paavo Järvi, Sir Roger Norrington and Robin Ticciati.
Chamber music is a great passion of Tanja Tetzlaff. She is a founding member of the Tetzlaff Quartett, formed in 1994 together with Christian Tetzlaff, Elisabeth Kufferath and Hanna Weinmeister, and since then the quartet have appeared on stages worldwide. Other regular chamber music partners include violinist Florian Donderer, pianist Lauma Skride, the Signum Saxophone Quartet and a septet led by violinist Franziska Hölscher.
Recordings appear on CAvi, Ars, NEOS and Ondine, including concertos by Wolfgang Rihm and Ernst Toch. A solo recording with Bach suites and works by Thorsten Encke was released in October 2019.
Tanja Tetzlaff studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg with Professor Bernhard Gmelin and at the Mozarteum Salzburg with Professor Heinrich Schiff. Since the winter semester 2021/22, she has held a professorship in the cello department at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg. She plays a cello by Giovanni Baptista Guadagnini from 1776.
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Piano Trios | Notturno | Rondo | Arpeggione Sonata
02.2023, Ondine, CD> Amazon
„It was refreshing to hear Tanja Tetzlaff and Paavo Järvi give a moving and insightful account of the work [Schumann cello concerto] without resorting to unnecessary modification or embellishment. […] The pace of the outer movements was brisk and lively, and the soloist was eloquent and expressive. […] the soloist was goose pimple-inducing in her evocative treatment of the heavenly, beautiful melody.“
„The players make declarations, pose questions, give answers, thrust and parry, chase each other, proceed in lockstep; there are moments of tender lyricism and of furious aggression – I’ve never seen string players subject their instruments to such apparently extreme maltreatment - but the Tetzlaffs encompassed it all with wit and impeccable virtuosity. This was a heroic performance.“