VISIONS: TETZLAFF + BRAHMS
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 which reflect the composers’ 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 tries to fulfill the musical text as thoroughly as possible and as a violinist attempts to disappear behind the work – paradoxically making his interpretations very personal.
In addition, he frequently turns his attention to forgotten masterpieces such as Joseph Joachim’s Violin Concerto or the Violin Concerto No. 22 by Giovanni Battista Viotti, a contemporary of Mozart and Beethoven. To broaden his repertoire, he also commits himself to substantial new works such as Jorg Widmann’s Violin Concerto, which he premiered. He has an unusually extensive repertoire and performs approximately 100 concerts each season.
Throughout his career, Christian Tetzlaff has appeared with the world’s leading orchestras collaborating with conductors including Sergiu Celibidache, Bernard Haitink, Christoph von Dohnányi, Lorin Maazel and Kurt Masur and more recently with David Afkham, Barbara Hannigan, Daniel Harding, Paavo Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski, Andris Nelsons, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robin Ticciati and Michael Tilson Thomas, to name but a few.
Mr. Tetzlaff regularly appears with the orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Pittsburgh among many others in the US, 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 is also a guest 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 as an Artist in Residence to present his musical views over a longer period of time; past residencies include working with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall. In the 2021/2022 season, he served as Artist-in-Residence at London’s Wigmore Hall, and in 22/23 he is the “Portrait Artist” with the London Symphony Orchestra. Additional highlights of his 2022/23 season include appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Paris Chamber Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra as well as a South American tour with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie.
Christian Tetzlaff is also a dedicated chamber musician, and to this day performing chamber music is as close to his heart as his work as a soloist with or without an orchestra. Mr. Tetzlaff founded the Tetzlaff Quartet in 1994 with violinist Elisabeth Kufferath, violist Hanna Weinmeister and his sister, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff, and each season he undertakes at least one extensive tour with the Quartet when they appear on the major recital and chamber music series throughout Europe, North America and Asia. He also regularly tours with as a trio with Ms. Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt and both ensembles regularly record.
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. The Tetzlaff Quartet received a “Diapason d’or” in 2015 and one of the trio’s recordings was nominated for a Grammy award. 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 was released in the fall of 2019 followed up by a recording of the Brahms and Berg Violin Concertos with the same orchestra and conductor.
Born in Hamburg in 1966 and now living in Berlin with his wife, the photographer Giorgia Bertazzi, and their three children, Mr. 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.
Christian Tetzlaff plays a violin by the German violin maker Peter Greiner and teaches regularly at the Kronberg Academy.