• Tanya Tomkins October 27, 2014 The Gentrification of Early Music

    Right now I am on my return flight from New York where I was teaching Phoebe Carrai’s wonderful Baroque cello students at the Historical Performance Department of Juilliard. This was a great honor and a lot of fun, and yet for me it was very disorienting. Let me explain…. It started with my elevated heart-rate […]

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  • Tanya Tomkins October 14, 2014 I Was a Lousy Music Student

    Personally, I was never a kid who responded well to the great teachers of my instrument. I always learned best by playing with other people, listening to other people play and just being around music. Even now it is often hard for me to isolate the mechanics of cello playing divorced from a musical context. […]

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  • Tanya Tomkins June 30, 2014 The Power of Then

    Last week I journeyed into the past. I spent a few days in Amsterdam visiting old friends, riding a bike around the city I spent fourteen years of my life in. It is now another fourteen years since I lived there.   I moved to Holland in 1984 because of a chance encounter with a […]

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  • Tanya Tomkins April 18, 2014 Apprentices and Hiatuses

    This month marked the completion of the first two-year Apprentice Program of my house concert series, Benvenue House Music. Inadvertently, these last two years were also a time of reflection for me. For nearly half of it I was unable to a perform because of a neck injury. Oddly, it wasn’t just cello playing that […]

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  • Tanya Tomkins March 6, 2014 Bach, the master improviser

    Recently, I judged a Bach competition for young cellists here in Berkeley. Memorization was a prerequisite for entering the competition. I found myself spending a good part of my time behind the screen with the other judges, listening to all of these wonderful, young cellists playing Bach from memory, thinking that there was something wrong […]

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  • Tanya Tomkins February 11, 2014 When It’s Not What You Think…

    I was sitting on the plane yesterday on the way back from Portland with my friend, the wonderful violinist, Carla Moore. She was reading “The End of Early Music” by Bruce Haynes. I had read a lot of this very fascinating book, but not the chapter she shared with me yesterday. It was about the […]

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  • Tanya Tomkins December 31, 2013 Musicians and Healthcare

    Right now my partner, Eric Zivian and I are rehearsing Schumann and Brahms with Joseph Maile and Pei-Ling Lin for a concert in Occidental on January 18 and for my own house concert series on January 26th and 27th. It is a sweet time of discussing ideas, trying things out, and taking our time to […]

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  • Tanya Tomkins August 25, 2013 Ruminations on the Earth from Moab

    Concerts have taken me to some gorgeous places in the last few years — Montana, Alaska, Oregon — and every year for the last twenty, to Moab, Utah for the annual music festival here. The more I see of it, the more I am in awe of the stunning natural beauty of this country. It […]

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  • Tanya Tomkins August 13, 2013 Spontaneity in Music/Music in the Vineyards

    Having spent every day rehearsing and performing with some of my favorite musicians at Music in the Vineyards Festival last week, I finally had a breakthrough of sorts. Is classical music suffering from drops in audiences and funding because we have gotten too rigid in the way we play these great masters? The renowned violist, […]

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  • Tanya Tomkins July 28, 2013 American Bach Soloists or I Feel Too Young to be Distinguished

    This year’s ABS Academy was wonderful. The best part for me was meeting the amazing young people whom this festival always attracts. My role this year was Distinguished-Artist-in-Residence, which meant Jeffrey Thomas invited me to do two lecture-demos and a recital. They were all very well attended, and I got to see composer Aaron Kernis […]

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  • Tanya Tomkins July 12, 2013 Adventures in Baroque Cello: From Bach to Barriere

    I am playing the last concert tonight with Monica Huggett and a scaled down version of the Portland Baroque Orchestra. We are finishing an Oregon tour for the Oregon Bach Festival tonight in Eugene, and then I drive back to the Bay Area to get ready for next weekend’s recital for the ABS Summer Academy. […]

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  • Tanya Tomkins February 10, 2013 That Takes GUTS!

    Last week I went to a concert of friends and colleagues at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. It was under the auspices of Jean-Michel Fonteneau’s faculty recital. It was disorienting in the best sense. Some of the modern string faculty plus two modern alumni were playing a concert on….. yes… gut strings! Some of […]

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  • Tanya Tomkins February 1, 2013 First Blog Post: A Whale of a Concert

    Hey, my first blog post! I went to hear the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble last night in the Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley. I play in this ensemble half the time, but this time around it was Leighton Fong playing cello. I was honestly not looking forward to hearing another performance of The Voice of […]

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