Cellist Tanja Tetzlaff is a frequent soloist with major orchestras in her native Germany and abroad. She is also an enthusiastic chamber music player, working with her brother, violinist Christian Tetzlaff, among others.
Tetzlaff was born in Hamburg in 1973. She and her older brother Christian grew up in a musical household with parents who had met in a church choir. At 17, Tanja auditioned for study in Salzburg, Austria, with Heinrich Schiff; she was accepted and worked with him at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and also with Bernhard Gmelin at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg. A breakthrough for Tetzlaff was a win at the International Music Competition in Vienna, followed in 1994 by another at the ARD Music Competition in Munich, Germany. Tetzlaff has performed concertos with top orchestras in Germany and abroad, including the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Orchestre de Paris, and the NHK Symphony Orchestra. She is an enthusiastic chamber music player, appearing with her brother as part of the Tetzlaff Quartet as well as with such players as violist Tabea Zimmermann, pianist Lars Vogt, and clarinetist Martin Fröst. She is the principal cellist with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and lives in that city with her husband, violinist Florian Donderer, and her family. Tetzlaff's repertory includes not only traditional cello works but also new music, and in the 2020-2021 season, she was slated to give the world premiere of Rolf Wallin's Double Concerto for cello, percussion, and orchestra.
Tetzlaff's recording career began in 1996 with an album featuring Haydn's cello concertos on the Camerata label. She has recorded for Avi, CAvi-music, and Ondine, among other labels. In 2020, she was heard with the Signum Quartett and other musicians on Lost Prayers, an ECM recording of music by composer Erkki-Sven Tüür.