Tanya Prochazka, cellist
Australian by birth, Tanya Prochazka is the granddaughter of Albert Coates, past conductor of the St. Petersburg Kirov Theatre and the London Symphony Orchestra. She began studying cello at the age of seven with Marianne Hunt, and later with Henri Touzeau in Melbourne and won a number of nationwide competitions including the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s National Concerto Competition. Continuing at the Paris Conservatoire, she studied with noted French cellist André Navarra, and graduated in 1973. Moving to Vienna, Tanya Prochazka became a member of various chamber groups, including Ensemble 1, with whom she performed and recorded extensively. She studied with Janos Starker at Indiana University, and for two years was Artist in Residence at Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia. In 1978 she settled in London, a move that led to a distinguished career as a soloist and member of numerous chamber ensembles (Sirius Ensemble, Lontano, Florestan piano trio) and orchestras. She was principal cellist in the Scottish Baroque Ensemble, the London Mozart Players and the English Sinfonia. She played in the Philharmonia Orchestra and for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and frequently performed on the BBC. She taught at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music. Tanya studied orchestral conducting with distinguished conductor and mentor Dr. John Hopkins.
Living in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada since 1986, Ms Prochazka has become one of Canada’s leading cellists. In 1998 Tanya was appointed Professor of Cello and Chamber Music and Conductor of the University Symphony and the Academy Strings Orchestras at the University of Alberta. As well as conducting the major symphonic repertoire, Tanya led the orchestra in opera and large choral events.
She has an impressive discography and is heard often on the CBC. Ms Prochazka’s recital, chamber music and concerto performances have taken her to many parts of the globe. In 2004 she performed two world premieres: the cello concerto, La Rosa Enflorece, composed especially for her by Alfred Fisher, performed with The Kingston Symphony Orchestra, and Malcolm Forsyth’s Double Concerto for Cello and Viola, with violist Rivka Golani and the Edmonton Symphony. Tanya is a frequent performer at chamber music festivals in Canada including Pender Harbour, Sooke and Prince Edward County.
In January 2006, Ms. Prochazka was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. Despite bouts of disease recurrence and subsequent treatments Tanya continues her performance and teaching career. In 2009 Tanya was honored by the City of Edmonton for her contributions to the musical life of the city and inducted into the Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame. In July 2010, Tanya became Professor Emerita at the University of Alberta and continues to teach in a half time capacity.
Recent performance highlights include a cello and piano recital in Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York with pianist Sylvia Shadick Taylor, the complete Beethoven Cello and Piano Sonata Cycle in Edmonton with pianist Stephane Lemelin, fundraising recitals in Melbourne, Australia for the Kenneth Hunt Memorial Fund with pianist Brachi Tilles, recitals of works by Chopin and Debussy with Magda Adamek, performances of string quartets in the natural concert halls of the Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, Rachmaninoff and Grieg Sonatas with pianist Milton Schlosser, and the Schubert String Quintet with the Lafayette String Quartet in Edmonton and Victoria, Canada.