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Musical World

Tanja Becker-Bender

  • Violinist


Since her debut at the Salzburger Schlosskonzerte at the age of eleven, Tanja Becker-Bender performed on the stages of the Philharmonie and Konzerthaus Berlin, Philharmonie Cologne, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Herkulessaal Munich, Musikverein and Konzerthaus Vienna, Vigado Budapest, Victoria Hall Geneva, Palais des Beaux Arts Brussels, Henry Crown Hall Jerusalem, Suntory Hall and Bunkamura Orchard Hall Tokyo, Teatro Gran Rex Buenos Aires, Kennedy Center Washington, Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center and Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie) in New York, to name but a few.

With her debut performance at the Chautauqua Festival (NY, USA) in 1997, she won over the audience as well as critics with a moving interpretation of Johannes Brahms' Violin Concerto, what earned her new invitations and performances of the Violin Concertos by Beethoven and Elgar at the same festival, as well as several further engagements with American orchestras. The Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award 2000 brought her to Japan for the first time, where she performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2003, she repeated her great success in Tokyo performing the Dvorák and Korngold Violin Concertos at Suntory Hall and at Metropolitan Art Center together with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Gerd Albrecht. On invitation of the Mozarteum Argentino Buenos Aires, she went to South America as soloist in concerts with orchestra and in recitals for several times, and she performed to great acclaim by both critics and audiences in Buenos Aires and in Montevideo.

One of the most recent highlights of her career was the appearance at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival with Kurt Masur as conductor. A short-notice engagement by the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg for a concert tour in Spain under the baton of Hubert Soudant drew the attention of the representatives to her and made her name well-known in this country, too. Still before graduating from The Juilliard School in New York, she distinguished herself as an interpreter of classical modern music, performing the violin concertos by Igor Stravinsky, Philip Glass, Kurt Weill (Cincinnati, USA), Bela Bartók (Houston, USA).
Her recitals with multi-faceted programs at the Schwetzinger Festspiele, the European Music Festival of the International Bach Academy, the Beethovenfest Bonn, the Musikverein Vienna, the International Kronberg Academy, and at the Dresdner Musikfestspiele together with pianist Oliver Kern were highlights of chamber music. Outside Europe, she gave her debut concert in Washington D.C. with a chamber music recital at Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, recorded for the National Public Radio and broadcast live over the internet.

In 2000, the anniversary of J.S. Bach, Tanja Becker-Bender performed the complete cycle of his Solo Sonatas and Partitas several times in Stuttgart and in Vienna. Subsequently, she also played the ten violin sonatas by Beethoven in New York, in short order. At the Bad Homburg Chamber Music Festival 2006, Tanja Becker-Bender was featured in an interpreter portrait during four consecutive days and presented multi-faceted programs to the audience.

Highly acclaimed by the Frankfurt press were the highlights of her performance of the complete Paganini Caprices and the debut concert of her newly founded Petrarca Quartet. In 2008, Tanja Becker-Bender can be heard with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra at Konzerthaus Vienna, with the Bach Orchestra of the Gewandhaus Leipzig at Tonhalle Düsseldorf and with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra at Liederhalle Stuttgart as well as in concerts with the Wuppertal Symphonic Orchestra and the North Nederlands Orchestra Groningen. Hightlights in chamber music will be a concert with Bernd Glemser, Daniel Müller-Schott and Dimitri Ashkenazy in Maulbronn Monastery e.g. and a recital in Laeisz Hall Hamburg with pianist Oliver Kern, with whom she also will perform the whole cycle of violin sonatas by Beethoven.

From fall semester 2006/2007 on, Tanja Becker-Bender was appointed professor for violin at the University of Music Saar in Saarbrücken (Germany) in the succession of Maxim Vengerov.