KD SCHMID Christian Tetzlaff

Soloist

Christian Tetzlaff

Violin

Biography – about the artist.

Christian Tetzlaff is one of the most sought-after violinists and most exciting musicians on the classical music scene. Concerts with him often become an existential experience for the interpreter and audience alike, old familiar works suddenly appear in a completely new light. 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 Jörg Widmann’s Violin Concerto, which he premiered in 2013. With devotion he cultivates an unusually extensive repertoire and performs approximately 100 concerts every year.

In the 2023/24 season, Christian Tetzlaff appears with the world’s foremost orchestras. In Europe, he performs with Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Orchestre de chambre de Paris and Orchestre National de France, among others. He also appears on stage with the most renowned English ensembles: with the Philharmonia Orchestra Tetzlaff gives performances in Grafenegg and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, and with the BBC Symphony Orchestra he appears at the BBC Proms. He returns to Chamber Orchestra of Europe, undertakes two tours to Korea and Europe with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and records Thomas Adès' Violin Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic. In the US, he returns to Cincinnati Symphony orchestra and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Christian Tetzlaff is regularly invited as Artist in Residence to present his musical views over a longer period of time, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and Dresdner Philharmoniker. In the 2021/22 season, he was given this honour at London's Wigmore Hall and in 2022/23 he was "Portrait Artist" of the London Symphony Orchestra.


Over the course of his career, Christian Tetzlaff made guest appearances with all the great orchestras, including the Wiender Philharmoniker and New York Philharmonic, the Concertgebouworkest in Amsterdam and all the London orchestras. He worked with legendary Maestri such as Sergiu Celibidache, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur and Christoph von Dohnányi. Close artistic ties have also been forged with Karina Canellakis, Daniel Harding, Paavo Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski, Andris Nelsons, Sir Simon Rattle, Francois Xavier Roth, Robin Ticciati, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Barbara Hannigan, Ed Gardner, Ingo Metzmacher and Kent Nagano.

In 1994, Christian Tetzlaff founded with his sister the cellist Tanja Tetzlaff his own string quartet, and to this day chamber music is as close to his heart as his work as a soloist with or without orchestra. In recital, this season he appears with Kirill Gerstein in the USA, including dates at New York's Carnegie Hall, in Washington and Boston. Each year he undertakes at least one tour with the Tetzlaff Quartett, with concerts this season at Berlin's Boulez Hall, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, Vienna's Musikverein and BOZAR Brussels. The Tetzlaff Quartett was awarded the Diapason d’or in 2015, and the trio with his sister Tanja Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt was nominated for a GRAMMY award in 2016. The trio's last recording of works by Schubert was only released after Lars Vogt's untimely passing, and was awarded the OPUS Klassik for best chamber music recording in 2023.

Christian Tetzlaff has also received numerous prizes for his recordings, including the “Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik” and the “Diapason d’or” in 2018 as well as the Midem Classical Award in 2017. Of special significance is his solo recording of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas, which he has recorded for the third time and was released in September 2017. The Strad magazine praised this recording as “an attentive and lively answer to the beauty of Bach’s solos”. The Ondine label released the recording of the Beethoven and Sibelius violin concertos in autumn 2019, followed by Brahms and Berg in August 2022 - both with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin conducted by Robin Ticciati.

Born in Hamburg in 1966 and now living in Berlin with his family, there are three things that make this musician unique, aside from his astounding skill on the violin. He interprets the musical manuscript in a literal fashion, perceives music as a language, and reads the great works as narratives that reflect existential insights. As obvious as it may sound, he brings an unusual approach in his daily concert routine.

Christian Tetzlaff tries to fulfill the musical text as deeply as possible – without indulging in the usual technical short-cuts on the violin – often allowing a renewed clarity and richness to arise in well-known works. As a violinist Tetzlaff tries to disappear behind the work – and paradoxically this makes his interpretations very personal.

Secondly, Christian Tetzlaff “speaks” through his violin. Like human speech, his playing comprises a wide range of expressive means and is not aimed solely at achieving harmoniousness or virtuosic brilliance.

Above all, however, he interprets the masterpieces of musical history as stories about first-hand experiences. The great composers have focused on intense feelings, great happiness and deep crises in their music; Christian Tetzlaff, as a musician, also explores the limits of feelings and musical expression. Many pieces deal with nothing less than life and death. Christian Tetzlaff’s aim is to convey this to his audience.

Significantly, Tetzlaff played in youth orchestras for many years. In Uwe-Martin Haiberg at the Lübeck Music Academy, he had a teacher for whom musical interpretation was the key to mastering violin technique, rather than the other way round.

Christian Tetzlaff plays a violin by the German violin maker Peter Greiner and teaches regularly at the Kronberg Academy.

He lives in Berlin with his wife, the photographer Giorgia Bertazzi, and three children.

SEASON 2023/2024

The next dates:

20.05.2024

arp museum Bahnhof Rolandseck

Remagen-rolandseck

> more about the promoter

30.05.2024

Minnesota Orchestra

Minneapolis

> more about the promoter

31.05.2024

Minnesota Orchestra

Minneapolis

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01.06.2024

Minnesota Orchestra

Minneapolis

> more about the promoter

14.06.2024

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Chicago

15.06.2024

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Chicago

Your contact persons:

General Management:

Julia Albrecht

+49 511 36607-39

julia.albrecht@kdschmid.de

General Management:

Sarah Musli

+49 511 36607-23

sarah.musli@kdschmid.de

Nordic, Asia, Australia, New Zealand:

Jeongmin Kim

+44 20 7395 09-12

jeongmin.kim@kdschmid.co.uk

Annika Kochmann

Artist Coordinator

+49 511 36607-86

annika.kochmann@kdschmid.de

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Annika Kochmann

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Discography.

Schubert

Piano Trios | Notturno | Rondo | Arpeggione Sonata

02.2023, Ondine, CD

> Amazon

Brahms | Berg

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Robin Ticciati

09.2022, Ondine, CD

Beethoven | Sibelius

Violin Concertos, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Robin Ticciati

09.2019, Ondine, CD

> Amazon

Antonín Dvořák

Piano Trios Nos. 3 & 4 ‘Dumky’

10.2018, Ondine, CD

> Amazon > iTunes

Bartók: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra & Hannu Lintu

04.2018, Ondine, CD

> Amazon > iTunes

J.S. Bach

Sonatas & Partitas

09.2017, Ondine, CD

> Amazon > iTunes

News.

Marc Albrecht and Christian Tetzlaff at the Konzerthausorchester Berlin

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Christian Tetzlaff at Symphonieorchester des Bayrischen Rundfunks

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Christian Tetzlaff on tour with Chamber Orchestra of Europe

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Highlights of the concert season with Christian Tetzlaff: A week of festivals of sound

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OPUS KLASSIK Award Winners 2023

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Release of two profoundly dramatic and lyrical concertos on one album

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Press.

„Two works beginning on the outer edge of audibility, one greeted with a spontaneous ovation, the other with more considered enthusiasm. Robin Ticciati and the LPO know each other well, and the result in this Sibelius and Bruckner programme was playing of superlative quality. The pianissimo opening of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto set the bar high for the panoramic scope of big perspectives, and for textures and dynamics ranging from the most evanescent to the uncompromisingly granitic, with a soloist, Christian Tetzlaff, so completely inside the score’s majesty, intimacy and remoteness that he didn’t drop a stitch when a string snapped about four minutes in, with him seizing the leader’s violin to take him through to just before the cadenza. The rapport between him and Ticciati was intense, with the first movement spellbinding in the beautifully geared shifts of retreat and advance between soloist and orchestra. Ticciati was particularly effective in presenting the tuttis with symphonic weight and presence to spare, and he made plenty of space for Tetzlaff to express a barely credible scale of emotion and character – his is the sort of command that makes both technical and interpretative challenges just melt away. The slow movement showed off the beauties of his tone, while his undemonstrative performance style supports a white-hot musical imagination and intelligence. The rhythmic tautness of the Allegro Finale (with the ma non tanto qualifier put on the back burner) was balanced vertiginously between momentum and delirium, Tetzlaff on incandescent form. It was one of those performances where you pinch yourself to check something so thrilling and profound had really happened. His encore, some penetratingly introspective Bach, only compounded Tetzlaff’s impact and insight. [...]“

ClassicalSource, Peter Reed, 02.02.2019

„[…] to be grateful for the gorgeous performance it received from Christian Tetzlaff, one of the score’s most dedicated advocates. […] a fully committed performance. Is there a more physically engaged fiddle virtuoso before the public? On Thursday you could almost smell the rosin dust coming off his bow as he pressed deep into his violin strings, bringing out Szymanowski’s aching lyricism, his bright, intense sound soaring high above the staff. CSO audiences have heard several fine accounts of this concerto in recent decades – think of Nikolaj Znaider’s and Frank Peter Zimmermann’s – but, for me, Tetzlaff’s extra degree of incisive brilliance and fierce elegance trumped them both. […]“

Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein, 02.06.2017

„[…] Still Szymanowski’s work canbe undeniably effective in the right hands and with Christian Tetzlaff as solo protagonist such was the case. […] the soloist was fully engaged in the concerto’s restless rhapsodic style. The German violinist gave a wholly compelling take on this unwieldy piece, invsting the virtuosic bursts with his singular brand of bristly bravura and leaning into the surging lines with a slender, focused tone that skirted the schmaltz. […]“

Chicago Classical Review, Lawrence A. Johnson, 02.06.2017

„Tetzlaff’s focus on the long line and, for example, the smoothest possible transition between the first movement and the adagio, gives the piece an exceptional feeling of unity for all the passion; and the finale truly dances, with crisper than usual articulation supported by Storgards’ firmly rhythmic accompaniment.“

ClassicsToday.com, David Hurwitz, 27.03.2016