Tanja Becker-Bender was born in Stuttgart, Germany, into a family of scientists and musicians of Bohemian origin. Early musical success, manifested in top prizes at the international competitions in Geneva (CIEM), Brussels (CIM Chimay), Tokyo (Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award), Houston, Gorizia and Genoa (Premio Niccolò Paganini), lead her to perform as a soloist under the baton of Kurt Masur, Gerd Albrecht, Fabio Luisi, Hartmut Haenchen, Hubert Soudant and Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi with renowned orchestras such as the Tokyo Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Houston Symphony orchestras, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart of the SWR, Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, and the Vienna, Zurich and Prague Chamber orchestras.
Also an avid chamber musician, Tanja Becker-Bender played in festivals together with Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Boris Pergamenschikow and Arnold Steinhardt and gave recitals in New York, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Paris, London, Rome and Vienna.
Tanja Becker-Bender has received her most significant musical education from the world’s leading quartet musicians: early studies with Wilhelm Melcher (Melos Quartett) in Stuttgart and a year of studies with David Takeno at the Guildhall School in London were followed by studies with Günter Pichler (Alban Berg Quartett) at the University of Music in Vienna and with Robert Mann (Juilliard String Quartet) at The Juilliard School in New York. Further important impulses came from Bartók’s student György Sándor in New York and through the work with Eberhard Feltz in Berlin.
Applying the idealistic approach of chamber music to all genres of music, whether concertos, virtuoso pieces, new music in first performances or baroque music on historic instruments, Tanja Becker-Bender is constantly striving for getting to the essence of each work performed, and dedicates herself to a wide range of repertoire. Her interest in new music has led her to collaborations with composers such as Cristóbal Halffter and first performances of works by Rolf Hempel and Alexander Goehr.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung characterizes her playing as consisting of “completely mature virtuosity and phenomenal intensity of expression and balance”.
In 2006, she has been appointed one of the youngest professors ever in Germany, at the University of Music Saarland in Saarbrücken, following Maxim Vengerov in that position.
Her CD with the “24 Capricci” by Niccolò Paganini was released by Hyperion Records on March 1st, 2009. A new disc in Hyperion’s “Romnatic Violin Concertos” series is planned. Prior to that, she recorded works for violin and piano by Antonín Dvorák for the Belgian label Pavane and Violin Concertos by Albinoni for Brilliant Classics in Holland, besides numerous radio and television broadcasts.
Tanja Becker-Bender plays on a violin by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù (Cremona 1728), owned by “Blue de Brasil” of the Fazenda Ipiranga, on loan through the Instrument Fund of the German Music Foundation.