Born in Hamburg in 1966, music 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.
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 including 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.
During the 2018-19 season, Mr. Tetzlaff returns to Tanglewood to work with the Boston Symphony under Thomas Adès, as well as to the Cleveland and National Arts Centre orchestras and the Detroit, New World, and Toronto symphonies; and tours with his trio partners, Tanja Tetzlaff and Lars 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; and is Artist-in-Residence at London’s Wigmore Hall.
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 Guarneri del Gesu made by the German violin maker, Peter Greiner.