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Biography

First Violin

Born in Hamburg in 1966, music has occupied a central place in Christian Tetzlaff’s family; his three siblings are all professional musicians. He made his concert debut playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto at age fourteen and attributes the establishment of his musical outlook to his teacher at the conservatory in Lübeck, Uwe-Martin Haiberg. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1991. Later this month, he tours the US with Michael Tilson Thomas and the SFS.

Mr. Tetzlaff has performed and recorded a broad spectrum of 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. A dedicated chamber musician, he frequently collaborates with artists such as pianists Leif Ove Andsnes and Lars Vogt. He 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. The quartet received the Diapason d’Or in 2015. Mr. Tetzlaff’s trio with Ms. Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt was nominated for a Grammy award.

During the 2018-19 season, Mr. Tetzlaff returns to Tanglewood to work with the Boston Symphony under Thomas Adès; makes appearances with the Cleveland and National Arts Centre orchestras and the Detroit, New World, and Toronto symphonies; and tours with Ms. Tetzlaff and Mr. Vogt to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, New York, Washington DC, and Denver. Internationally, he tours Vietnam with the NHK Symphony and appears with the London Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Munich Philharmonic, and Helsinki Philharmonic. Mr. Tetzlaff has been artist-in-residence with the Berlin Phiharmonic at Wigmore Hall and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, as well as a Carnegie Hall Perspectives artist. This season he is in residence with the Seoul and Dresden philharmonics.

Mr. Tetzlaff has received numerous awards for his many recordings, including the Diapason d’Or, the MIDEM Classical Award, and the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Most recently, his recording of the Bartók violin concertos with the Helsinki Philharmonic and Hannu Lintu was chosen as the Gramophone Concerto Recording of the Year. His recording of the unaccompanied Bach sonatas and partitas, which he recorded for the third time, was released in September 2017 for Ondine.

Christian Tetzlaff currently performs on a violin modeled after a Guarnerius del Gesù made by the German violin maker, Peter Greiner. He teaches regularly at the Kronberg Academy.

(March 2019)