Christian Tetzlaff (born April 24, 1966) is a German violinist.
Tetzlaff was born in Hamburg. His parents were amateur musicians and met in a church choir. He began playing the violin and piano at the age of 6, and made his concert debut at 14 years old. He studied with Uwe-Martin Haiberg at the Musikhochschule Lübeck and later with Walter Levin at the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music.
He plays as a soloist with major orchestras on stage and in recordings, including Beethoven works performed with the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich under David Zinman. He joined his sister Tanja (cello) and Leif Ove Andsnes (piano) in winning the 2012 Gramophone Award for best chamber recording (playing Schumann's piano trios). His recording of Schumann's violin sonatas with Lars Vogt (piano) was named Gramophone's recording of the month for January 2014.
He plays a contemporary violin by Stefan-Peter Greiner which he has had since 2002, preferring it to his previous Stradivarius instrument. He uses a Peccatte bow, and Vision strings by Thomastik-Infeld in Vienna. He eschews routinely playing the violin with the full, lyrical sound preferred by many of his contemporaries, telling The New Yorker: "The listener loses the ear for the most beautiful sounds if they've been used for arbitrary, non-important things".
- Eichler, Jeremy (27 August 2012). "String Theorist". The New Yorker.
- White, Michael (28 September 2012). "Roses, thorns and some surprise names at the Gramophone Awards". The Telegraph.
- "Schumann: Sonatas for Violin and Piano". Presto Classical.
- BBC television interview, 22 July 2005
- Christian Tetzlaff's biography on the website of his North American representation, CM Artists New York
- Christian Tetzlaff
- Homepage of Christian Tetzlaff