Tanja Tetzlaff studied the cello at the Musikhochschule in Hamburg with Bernhard Gmelin, and the Mozarteum in Salzburg with Heinrich Schiff.
Winner of the International Music Competition in Vienna in 1992, and the ARD International Competition in 1994, she performs as a soloist with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Camerata Salzburg and the symphony orchestras of Berlin and Cincinnati, under the baton of Roger Norrington, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Paavo Järvi, Lorin Maazel, Daniel Harding and Philippe Herreweghe. A renowned chamber music performer, she plays often with Tabea Zimmermann, Antje Weithaas, Lars Vogt, Alexander Lonquich, Martin Frost, Leif Ove Andsnes and her brother Christian Tetzlaff, with whom she founded, along with Elisabeth Kufferath (violin) and Hanna Weinmeister (viola), the Tetzlaff Quartet. The quartet, which occurs in Europe and in the United States, recently made its debut at the Carnegie Hall. She gives concerts in the United States, Australia and Japan. She is a regular guest at festivals in Bergen, Heimbach, the Berlin Festival Weeks and Klangbogen Vienna.
She recorded Haydn's and Schumann's Concertos, as well as works for solo cello by JS Bach, Kodaly, Britten and Salonen. In 2006 she recorded for the Avie-Label works by Grieg and Rachmaninov with pianist Gunilla Süssmann. EMI has just released Schumann's complete piano trios with Leif Ove Andsnes and Christian Tetzlaff.
Tanja plays a Giovanni Baptista Guadagnini cello made in 1776. She played for the first time in France at the Auditorium du Louvre in 1996.