Tanya Lugli, Cello

“It was 1982 and, along with many of my friends at the Royal Northern College of Music where I was studying, I auditioned for ECYO. Little did I know that this decision would change the whole course of my life.
Following that successful audition and even before I started with ECYO, James Judd asked me if I would like to play with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, which had been formed a year before but which I did not know much about.
I remember the excitement and feeling of trepidation on walking in to the first rehearsal and being taken aback by how warmly everybody greeted each other.

What followed were seven extraordinary years of music-making, which I felt so privileged to be part of. I had never played with so many incredible musicians who were totally immersed in their work. It was like playing chamber music but on a grand scale.
The incredible musicianship, the wonderful camaraderie, the uplifting performances, the inspiring conductors and musicians such as Claudio Abbado, Alexander Schneider, Yehudi Menuhin, Nicolaus Harnoncourt, Mstislav Rostropovich, Paavo Bergland, to name but a few. It all contributed to making the seven years I played in the orchestra some of the best years of my life, and not just professionally. All along I had a feeling that I would never be able to play at a better level, while at the same time I became close with people I would call friends for the rest of my life.

The orchestra did so much during that period, touring the world and playing in so many countries and cities, and creating so many indelible memories. Like playing at Carnegie Hall, the Musikvereins in Vienna or the Opera House Sydney, as well as recording all Beethoven symphonies with Harnoncourt and all Schubert symphonies with Abbado. And, of course, the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro has a special place in my heart. But also having so much fun and profound experiences along the way between playing and travelling: like when I participated in (and of course won) the competition for the heaviest handbag; the time when the whole orchestra went through a earthquake in Tokyo while we were staying in a skyscraper hotel; the time when the Scottish contingent put in my salad a plastic cockroach which, thanks to the addition of olive oil, looked so real that I had no choice but to run screaming to the opposite end of the restaurant.
When I left the orchestra in 1989 I knew I had experienced the most musically enriching years I could have ever hoped for.”

“It was also in 1982 that the orchestra were playing at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, staying at the Hotel Caravelle. There was a very nice waiter called Riccardo working there and he kept asking me out. It took some persuasion but eventually I agreed.
We became friends and with the help of a borrowed Vespa he showed me around some of the little towns near Pesaro. After the tour we would write to each other and each August I returned with the orchestra and we would meet outside the Rossini Theatre. On my last visit to the Festival in 1985 Riccardo flew back with the orchestra to meet my family.
He then moved to London in February 1986 and we were married in April 1989, to the sound of Brandenburg 3rd Concerto played by friends from the orchestra.
We have two wonderful daughters, Elena, now 29, and Beatrice, 27, and one scrumptious grand-daughter, Ocean, aged 4.
Riccardo has worked for most of his career in banking and has learnt to appreciate and love classical music. But, in an ironic twists of life’s serendipitous turns, he now works in a string instruments dealer business where, from time to time, he meets some of the very players he met in Pesaro all those years ago.”


1959 Born in Nottingham
1966 Started playing the cello aged 7
1976 Played in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
1977 Awarded Associated Board Music Scholarship
1977-82 Royal Northern College of Music
1976-81 Principal cellist of the Nottingham County Youth Orchestra
Toured Southern England playing the Elgar Cello Concerto
1984-88 Worked with Scottish Chamber Orchestra
1982-88 Worked with London Contemporary Dance Theatre

1982-89 Member of Chamber Orchestra of Europe

1989 Married Riccardo
1989 – 96 Trained as a florist and run a successful wedding flower business
1994-96 Two daughters born
2001 – to date Volunteer at The Chicken Shed Theatre, an all-inclusive, multi award-winning theatre
2002 Trained and volunteered at Home Start, helping underprivileged Mums with children under 5
2008 – 15 Volunteer at Mother & Baby group at Enfield Baptist Church
2016 – to date Took part in multiple activities at The Chicken Shed Theatre
– Member of the Space Between Us programme for over 50’s
– Worked with the Youth Theatre
– Participated in inter-generational drama, dance and writing workshops
– Helping with children’s workshops for the Tales From The Shed programme
– Performed in the Turning The Tide show (2022-23), based on a Covid lockdown project
– Member of The Lost Records project (2023)

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