Artist in Residence 2014/2015
“A full, round tone, as if Oistrakh were standing on the podium. And every note hits home,” wrote a critic enthusiastically about Christian Tetzlaff’s debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in June 1995. And indeed, however much the robust Ukrainian and the slender North German differ in appearance, there may well be an inner affinity here which is evident not only in their sound but also in their fine musical instinct, their excellent grasp of the inner drama of a composition. Tetzlaff reveals musical structures so that even in works of the core repertoire, the listener can enjoy a surprising wealth of eye-opening experiences. Furthermore, he is a master of varying tone, and can attack with great power one moment, then allow the melody to sing freely the next.
Yet Christian Tetzlaff is not someone who has to live exclusively with the music before a concert. In an interview he said: “It seems a sentimental idea to me to have to become Brahms for a week to be able to play his violin concerto. The introduction starts, and then somehow you’re in there, in the piece. And afterwards I am quite happy to be out of it again. The concert is such an intense moment, then afterwards you go for a beer.” This mental flexibility enables Tetzlaff to maintain an unusually broad and varied repertoire and to play around 20 different violin concertos every year.
This versatility is also to be heard in the 2014/2015 season when Christian Tetzlaff is the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Artist in Residence. Tetzlaff is a passionate chamber musician who has also founded his own string quartet. During his Residency he has appeared with members of the orchestra in a variety of ensembles – from Bartók duos to octets by Franz Schubert and Jörg Widmann. Two highlights are still to come, with Christian Tetzlaff in a solo recital with works by Bach and Bartók, and at the end of the season in an orchestral concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker and chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle in Brahms’s Violin Concerto.