Christian Tetzlaff

Christian Tetzlaff has been one of the most sought-after violinists and exciting musicians on the classical music scene for many years. With an extensive repertoire and equally at home in Classical, Romantic and contemporary repertoire, he sets new standards with his interpretations of the concerti of Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Berg and Ligeti, and is renowned for his innovative chamber music projects and performances of Bach solo repertoire. He frequently turns his attention to forgotten masterpieces, such as Joseph Joachim’s Violin Concerto which he successfully championed, while attempting to bring new works to the mainstream repertoire such as Jörg Widmann’s Violin Concerto, which he premiered in 2013.

Tetzlaff follows the musical manuscript as closely as possible, foregoing standard performance tradition and without indulging in usual technical short-cuts on the instrument, which often allows a renewed clarity and richness to develop in works that are already well-known to audiences.

A former Artist-in-Residence with Carnegie Hall, Berliner Philharmoniker, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and hr-Sinfonieorchester, this 2021/22 season Tetzlaff shares his artistic ideas as Artist-in-Residence with the Wigmore Hall. In January 2022 he performs Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No.2 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Karina Canellakis. 

Further engagements in the 2021/22 season include tours across Europe and to the U.S. as well as a tour with Konzerthausorchester Berlin and invitations from Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.

His recordings have received numerous awards such as the Gramophone Classical Music Award in 2018 for his album of Bartók’s concerti Nos.1&2 with Hannu Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. His most recent recording for the label Ondine of Beethoven and Sibelius violin concerti with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Robin Ticciati, released in the autumn 2019, immediately received a mention as Album of the Month in Gramophone Magazine. Other awards include a Diapason d’Or and the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in 2018, Midem Classical in 2017, the Edison, and several Grammy nominations. His discography includes violin concerti by Dvořák, Mozart, Lalo, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Jörg Widmann; Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Mambo Blues and Tarantella; violin sonatas by Mozart, Bartók, Schumann and Brahms; and of special significance, Bach’s complete solo Sonatas and Partitas, which he recorded three times over the years, the latest having been released in September 2017.

Chamber music is as much an important facet of his musical life as his work as a soloist, both with and without the orchestra. Christian founded the Tetzlaff Quartett in 1994, which received the Diapason d’Or in 2015, while the trio with his sister Tanja Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt was nominated for a Grammy award.

Born in Hamburg in 1966, Christian Tetzlaff studied at the Lübeck Conservatory with Uwe-Martin Haiberg and in Cincinnati with Walter Levin.

He plays a violin by German maker Peter Greiner and teaches regularly at the Kronberg Academy, near Frankfurt.


© Photo by Giorgia Bertazzi