An artist known for his musical integrity, technical assurance, and intelligent, compelling interpretations, Christian Tetzlaff has for many years been internationally recognized as one of the most sought after violinists and exciting musicians on the classical music scene.
Concerts with Mr. Tetzlaff often turn into an illuminating experience as he views great works as narratives with reflect existential experiences. Suddenly, familiar works appear in a completely new light, as he perceives music as a language and his playing explores the limits of human feelings and expressiveness. He has an unusually extensive repertoire and performs approximately 100 concerts each season.
Christian Tetzlaff works regularly with the world's leading orchestras, collaborating with conductors including Christoph von Dohnanyi, Bernard Haitinck, Kurt Masur, Antonio Pappano, Robin Ticciati, Vladimir Jurowski, Gianandrea Noseda, Andris Nelsons and Manfred Honeck. He performs with the orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Montreal among many others, as well as with the major European ensembles including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, London Symphony and London Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Dresden Staatskappelle and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. He also appears at the world’s most prominent summer music festivals, including Verbier, Salzburg, Tanglewood, Edinburgh, The Proms and New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival. In addition, Mr. Tetzlaff is regularly invited to be an Artist in Residence with prestigious orchestras and venues such as the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, London’s Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall.
A dedicated chamber musician, Mr. Tetzlaff founded the Tetzlaff Quartet in 1994 with violinist Elisabeth Kufferath, violist Hanna Weinmeister and his sister, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff. He also regularly tours with as a trio with Ms. Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt and both ensembles regularly record. In June 1998, he and Mr. Vogt founded their own chamber music festival in the village of Heimbach near Cologne. Known as Spannungen, the concerts take place in an art-nouveau hydro-electric station and the festival’s huge success has been marked by the release of several live recordings on the CAvi and EMI labels.
Highlights of Christian Tetzlaff’s 19/20 season in the US include appearances with the National Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and at Carnegie Hall with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and a tour with his regular duo partner, pianist Lars Vogt, with performances in Atlanta, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Princeton, New Orleans and Miami. In Europe, he returns to the Orchestre de Paris and Orchestre National de France, the London Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Sinfonieorchestre Frankfurt, and the Berlin Philharmonic at the Baden-Baden Festival.
Christian Tetzlaff has received numerous awards for his many recordings, including the “Diapason d’or” in July 2018, the Midem Classical Award in 2017, and the “Preis Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik” in 2015. Most recently, his recording of the Bartok Violin Concertos with the Helsinki Philharmonic and Hannu Lintu was chosen as the Gramophone Concerto Recording of the Year. Of special significance are his recordings of the unaccompanied Bach Sonatas and Partitas, works which he recorded for the third time in September 2017 for Ondine and remain an integral part of his concert calendar. A new Ondine recording of the Beethoven and Sibelius violin concerts with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Robin Ticciati is scheduled for release in the fall of 2019.
Born in Hamburg in 1966, Christian Tetzlaff did not begin intensive study of the violin until making his concert debut playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto at the age of 14. He attributes the way he learns and performs to his teacher at the conservatory in Lübeck, Uwe-Martin Haiberg, for whom musical interpretation was the key to violin technique, rather than the other way around. He currently teaches regularly at the Kronberg Academy in Germany.
Now living in Berlin with his family, Mr. Tetzlaff currently performs on a violin modeled after a Guarneri del Gesu made by the German violin maker, Peter Greiner.