Christian Tetzlaff
Violin

“Tetzlaff, playing as if his life depended on it, transported his audience from the Hungarian gypsy camp to the salons of Vienna. It was the trip of lifetime.” (Independent on Sunday)

Contacts

Lydia Connolly +44 (0)20 3725 9118
Janet Marsden +44 (0)20 3725 9140
Márcio Bugalho Domingues +44 (0)20 3725 9186

Biography

Equally at home in classical, romantic and contemporary repertoire, Christian Tetzlaff sets the standard with his interpretations of Violin Concertos from Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Berg and Ligeti, and is renowned for his innovative chamber music projects and performances of Bach’s solo repertoire. 

Highlights of the 2017/18 season include performing alongside Sir Simon Rattle in the London Symphony Orchestra’s season opening concert, touring with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski to the George Enescu Festival, Bucharest and Musikfest Bremen, and a return to Wigmore Hall as Artist-in-Residence. The season-long residency includes a duo recital with Lars Vogt, performances with the Tetzlaff Quartett and clarinettist Jörg Widmann. 

Equally at home in classical, romantic and contemporary repertoire, Christian Tetzlaff sets the standard with his interpretations of Violin Concertos from Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Berg and Ligeti, and is renowned for his innovative chamber music projects and performances of Bach’s solo repertoire. 

Highlights of the 2017/18 season include performing alongside Sir Simon Rattle in the London Symphony Orchestra’s season opening concert, touring with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski to the George Enescu Festival, Bucharest and Musikfest Bremen, and a return to Wigmore Hall as Artist-in-Residence. The season-long residency includes a duo recital with Lars Vogt, performances with the Tetzlaff Quartett and clarinettist Jörg Widmann. 

He also appears with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, and Montreal, NHK, Finnish Radio symphony and Israel Philharmonic orchestras. His regular collaboration with conductor Robin Ticciati takes them to Dubai with Chamber Orchestra of Europe; Frankfurt, Hamburg and Essen with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, as well as a return to Edinburgh with Scottish Chamber Orchestra. 

His recordings have received numerous prizes and awards, including the Diapason d’Or, Edison, Midem Classical and ECHO Klassik awards (including 2017’s Instrumentalist of the Year, Violin for Brahms: The Violin Sonatas on the Ondine label), as well as several Grammy nominations. 

Born in Hamburg in 1966, Christian Tetzlaff has been Artist-in-Residence with Berliner Philharmoniker, with Sir Simon Rattle, Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and hr-Sinfonieorchester. He plays a violin by German maker Peter Greiner.

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Contacts

Lydia Connolly +44 (0)20 3725 9118
Janet Marsden +44 (0)20 3725 9140
Márcio Bugalho Domingues +44 (0)20 3725 9186

Reviews

“No other violinist so steadfastly abjures the seductive capacities of their instrument, its luxurious warmth and potential range of colour. Tetzlaff goes for absolute clarity of detail and purity of intonation, and as a result Brahms’s dramatic and melodic richness here shone very brightly.”(The Independent, December 2017) 

“Their performance here was technically flawless, with the two players closely aligned in every aspect of interpretation. But there was never any sense of routine, and Tetzlaff’s ability to breathe life into each of Brahms’s songful melodies was matched by Vogt’s subtle harmonic shifts and gently rolling accompaniment textures.” (The Arts Desk, December 2017)

“He seemed so completely immersed in the concerto that the overall impression was not so much of his playing it as living it. Any performance has to transcend concepts of virtuosity if it is to have its full impact. Technically, Tetzlaff is flawless, and the sound he makes with his modern Greiner violin – he doesn’t play a Strad – is effortlessly beautiful. But it’s the way the shape and meaning of every phrase is joyously integrated into a seamless whole that is so utterly beguiling. This is true even in the vast cadenzas, which Tetzlaff based on those Beethoven added to a later piano transcription of the work, having left his original violinist to improvise his own. …Unforgettable: the greatest performance of the work I’ve ever heard.” (Tim Ashley, The Guardian, May 2015)

“Purity and security, perspective and spaciousness. … The violinist Christian Tetzlaff made the hoarse, occluded acoustic of the Queen Elizabeth Hall sing. His recital of unaccompanied sonatas and partitas by Bach and Bartók moved between introspection and savage expressivity in athletic dances, votive arias, enigmatic fugues and dusty laments from two centuries.”  5 stars (Anna Picard, The Times, April 2015)

“No other violinist so steadfastly abjures the seductive capacities of their instrument, its luxurious warmth and potential range of colour. Tetzlaff goes for absolute clarity of detail and purity of intonation, and as a result Brahms’s dramatic and melodic richness here shone very brightly.”(The Independent, December 2017) 

“Their performance here was technically flawless, with the two players closely aligned in every aspect of interpretation. But there was never any sense of routine, and Tetzlaff’s ability to breathe life into each of Brahms’s songful melodies was matched by Vogt’s subtle harmonic shifts and gently rolling accompaniment textures.” (The Arts Desk, December 2017)

“He seemed so completely immersed in the concerto that the overall impression was not so much of his playing it as living it. Any performance has to transcend concepts of virtuosity if it is to have its full impact. Technically, Tetzlaff is flawless, and the sound he makes with his modern Greiner violin – he doesn’t play a Strad – is effortlessly beautiful. But it’s the way the shape and meaning of every phrase is joyously integrated into a seamless whole that is so utterly beguiling. This is true even in the vast cadenzas, which Tetzlaff based on those Beethoven added to a later piano transcription of the work, having left his original violinist to improvise his own. …Unforgettable: the greatest performance of the work I’ve ever heard.” (Tim Ashley, The Guardian, May 2015)

“Purity and security, perspective and spaciousness. … The violinist Christian Tetzlaff made the hoarse, occluded acoustic of the Queen Elizabeth Hall sing. His recital of unaccompanied sonatas and partitas by Bach and Bartók moved between introspection and savage expressivity in athletic dances, votive arias, enigmatic fugues and dusty laments from two centuries.”  5 stars (Anna Picard, The Times, April 2015)

“Christian Tetzlaff, more than any other violinist around today, is utterly attuned to Schumann’s idiom in these later works.” (Harriet Smith, Gramophone, January 2014)

“In Christian Tetzlaff [Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No.1] had an authoritative interpreter of the highest class. Whether it was in the long soliloquy lines of the opening movement or the almost hysteria-driven violence of the scherzo, or the hugely demanding solo cadenza between the last two movements, Tetzlaff was equal to all its demands. There are few violinists to match him at the moment.” (Martin Kettle, The Guardian, May 2013)

“The German violinist articulated Brahms’ Violin Sonatas as intimate, lyrical conversations. … Tetzlaff’s violin speaking intimately as though one-to-one with each member of the audience, until the hall seems to shrink to the size of a drawing-room hosting a musical soirée.” (Financial Times, January 2013)

“Christian Tetzlaff … body swaying with the music’s passions, fingers dancing near the violin’s bridge, spinning a thread of silvery sound ethereal yet passionate, the dynamics graded with infinite grace...We sat rapt as its melodic line and decorative frills leaped and shimmered up and down the violin’s register. What a superb player Tetzlaff is.” (The Arts Desk, April 2012)

“Christian Tetzlaff was the perfect advocate, performing the solo part's virtuosic heroics with phenomenal energy and persuasive conviction, and really bringing the work's inherent lyricism to the fore.” (The Strad, November 2011)

“You couldn’t wish for a better exponent today than the German violinist Christian Tetzlaff, with his Protean ability to take on the character of whatever work he is playing. The character here was Slavonic, and from his opening flourish he found a genial sweetness of tone. Even when playing pianissimo and stratospherically high, he still dominated the orchestra.” (The Independent, September 2011)

“Christian Tetzlaff had already had us on the edge of our seats for a Brahms Violin Concerto that will be my benchmark interpretation from now on. The soloist's scorching opening statement, the airy sweetness of his calming serenades, and the heel-stomping dances of the final movement were all breathtaking. Tetzlaff, playing as if his life depended on it, transported his audience from the Hungarian gypsy camp to the salons of Vienna. It was the trip of lifetime.” (Independent on Sunday, August 2011)

“This has to be the most extraordinarily intense and dramatic rendition of this great piece I have heard... Tetzlaff’s first statement burst in with startling urgency, like a truth that had to be uttered now or never. Thereafter, every phrase had the same sense of being impelled by an unstoppable inner need.  It was enthralling to hear a well-worn piece so totally re-imagined.” (The Daily Telegraph, August 2011)