The Russian cellist, Tatjana Vassiljeva, began studying the cello at the age of 6 with Eugenij Nilov at the Novosibirsk Conservatory. From 1989 till 1995 she studied with Maria Jurawlijova at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, from 1995 till 1998 with Walter Nothas at the Music College, Munich, where she graduated with distinction. Since 1998 she has been a pupil of David Geringas' in his master class at the Hanns Eilser Music College in Berlin.
Tatjana Vassilieva has received scholarships and awards at numerous international competitions. In 1994, at the age of 17, she was awarded the second prize at the ARD Competition in Munich as well as the Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award, that included a concert tour in Japan. In 1999 she won the first prize at the 3rd Adam International Cello Competition in New Zealand. In 2000 she was awarded the second prize at the International Pablo Casals Cello Competition in Kronberg and the first prize at the Izuminomori Cello in Japan.
Described as a ‘phenomenon’, Tatjana Vassilieva is known as a musician possessing an irreproachable technique and irresistible range of sonorities, whose superlative virtuosity is of only minor importance beside the strength of musical personality and ideas, and her ability to communicate them. Her musical curiosity is reflected by her extensive repertoire which ranges from Baroque to Contemporary music and includes several works of which she has given the world première.
Since beginning her performing career at the age of 12, Tatjana Vassiljeva has performed throughout Europe but it was as winner of the First Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris at the 7th Concours de Violoncelle Rostropovitch in 2001 – the first Russian to be awarded the top prize in the history of the competition - and as ‘Revelation from Abroad’ at the 2005 Victoires de la Musique Classique that brought her international recognition. Since then, Tatjana has built a formidable reputation as one of the leading cellists of today, performing with the most prestigious orchestras including the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, Moscow Soloists, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich, Basle Sinfonie, DSO Berlin, Lithuanian Philharmonic and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra under such distinguished conductors as Yuri Temirkanov, David Zinman, Vladimir Spivakov, Yuri Bashmet, Dmitri Kitaenko, Michail Jurowski, Sakari Oramo, Christoph Eschenbach and Krzysztov Penderecki, Vassily Sinaisky and Valery Gergiev.
In October 2006, Tatjana Vassiljeva performed in Japan with Claudio Abbado’s elite Lucerne Festival Orchestra, before giving a series of concerts at the Salle Pleyel, Paris and the Philharmonie Luxembourg with Rostropovich and Orchestre de Paris. In May of the following year, she participated in the concert in memory of the great Maestro given by the same orchestra. 2007 also included engagements with the Jerusalem Chamber Orchestra, performances of the Edward Elgar Concerto with l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice/James Judd, followed by the Penderecki Concerto Grosso under the baton of the composer. Important projects in 2008 included a tour with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Yuri Temirkanov, the world premiere of the revised version of Penderecki’s Largo, again with the composer, and, following her triumphant debut at the Edinburgh Festival with the London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, in October she was invited by Maestro Gergiev to perform in the concerts dedicated to the memory of Rostropovitch with the Mariinsky Orchestra in Russia before they took the Symphony Concerto to Japan for the Gergiev/London Symphony Orchestra Prokofiev Cycle. She ended the year with the RSO Vienna and Bertrand de Billy performing Tout un monde lointain… by Henri Dutilleux.
Tatjana Vassiljeva began 2009 in France with a tour with the Orchestre national d’Ile de France/Yoel Levi and will perform the complete J.S. Bach Cello Suites in several recitals during the Folle journée de Nantes. In February she will made the first of several trips to Japan, performing with the Yomiuri Symphony/Vassily Sinaisky, then with the Nagoya Philharmonic/Koizumi one month later. Other highlights include performances at the Prague Spring Festival with Jiri Kout, at the Folle journée au Japon with celebrated dancer Saburo Teshigawara, in London at Cadogan Hall with Orchestre national d’Ile de France/Yoel Levi, at La Grange de Meslay and so on.
As a chamber musician, Tatjana Vassiljeva has performed at international festivals such as Lockenhaus, Kronberg, Colmar, Elba, the Rencontres de musique de chambre at Chambery and La Grange de Meslay and the Folle journées in Nantes and Tokyo in collaboration with Paul Badura-Skoda (with whom she performed the complete works for cello and piano by L.v. Beethoven in 2005), Yuri Bashmet, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Tatjana Geringas, Eugene Istomin, Cyprien Katsaris, Gidon Kremer, Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, Baiba Skride, Vladimir Spivakov, Antoine Tamestit, Viktor Tretiakov, Maxim Vengerov and others. In 2007, she made her debut at the Verbier Festival, playing a solo J.S. Bach recital. She regularly performs chamber music concerts with the soloists of the Berliner Philharmoniker, with whom she performed Johannes Brahms’ sextets and cello sonatas in the J. Brahms cycle in Paris last season and toured Japan in autumn 2008.
Since her first disc, on Naxos, with works by Igor Stravinsky, Benjamin Britten, H. Dutilleux and Debussy, Tatjana Vassiljeva has made three recordings on the Accord/Universal label. The first, demonstrating her passion for solo contemporary music (Rodion Shchedrin, H. Dutilleux, Saariaho, Schnittke, Stroppa and Penderecki) was awarded the Diapason d’Or and was followed by a recording of works by Franck, Schubert and I. Stravinsky. However, it was with her most recent disc, presenting works for cello solo by Zoltán Kodály, Ysaÿe, Tchérepnine and Cassado that she stunned critics and has firmly established herself as ‘the new diva of the cello.’ In 2008, she recorded the Penderecki Concerto No. 2 with Antoni Wit and the Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and the J.S. Bach's Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello (BWV 1007-1012), released in February 2009.
Tatjana Vassiljeva performs on the 1725 Vaslin cello by Antonio Stradivarius, on generous loan from LVMH.