From the outset of his career, Christian Tetzlaff has performed and recorded a broad spectrum of the repertory, ranging from Bach’s unaccompanied sonatas and partitas to nineteenth-century masterworks by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Brahms; and from twentieth-century concertos by Bartók, Berg, and Shostakovich to world premieres of contemporary works. Also a dedicated chamber musician, he frequently collaborates with distinguished artists including pianists Leif Ove Andsnes and Lars Vogt, and is the founder of the Tetzlaff Quartet, which he formed in 1994 with violinist Elisabeth Kufferath, violist Hanna Weinmeister, and his sister, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff.
Christian Tetzlaff was born in Hamburg in 1966 to a musical family. He started playing the violin and piano at age six, and began intensive study of the violin at the age of fourteen with Uwe-Martin Haiberg at the conservatory in Lübeck. Mr. Tetzlaff came to the US in 1985-86 to work with Walter Levine at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and also spent two summers at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont.
Highlights of Mr. Tetzlaff’s 2017-18 season include engagements with the Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, and Montreal symphonies, solo Bach recitals in Ottawa and at Lincoln Center, and a US tour with the Tetzlaff Quartet. Internationally, he works with orchestras in London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Prague, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Moscow, Tel Aviv, Dubai, and Tokyo, among others; appears with the Tetzlaff Quartet and in trio performances with Tanja Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt in Berlin, London, Hamburg, and Hannover; and is Artist-in-Residence at London’s Wigmore Hall.
Mr. Tetzlaff's recordings on the Virgin Classics/EMI, DG, Decca, Hännsler, CAvi, and Ondine labels reflect the breadth of his musical interests and include works by composers ranging from Haydn to Bartók. His recent recordings, all on Ondine, include a disc of Shostakovich’s violin concertos and a Grammy-nominated album of Dvořák’s Violin Concerto and Suk’s Fantasy, both with the Helsinki Philharmonic; Brahms’s violin sonatas with Mr. Vogt; Beethoven's Triple Concerto and a Grammy-nominated 2016 disc of Brahms’s piano trios with Ms. Tetzlaff and Mr. Vogt; and quartets by Berg and Mendelssohn with the Tetzlaff Quartet, which was awarded a 2015 Diapason d’Or. In 2016 Mr. Tetzlaff recorded the complete Bach sonatas and partitas for Ondine; he previously recorded the works for the Musical Heritage and Hänssler labels. A new CD with the Tetzlaff Quartet performing quartets by Schubert and Haydn was released in April 2017.
Mr. Tetzlaff performs on a violin modeled after a Guarnerius del Gesù made by Peter Greiner. He made his SFS debut in 1991. Christian Tetzlaff appears by arrangement with CM Artists.