German violinist Christian Tetzlaff has been a performer since childhood and thus has developed a certain comfort level working with orchestras and conductors he knows. “That’s how my life gets better and better — I play with orchestras I’ve played with before; I play with conductors I like; I suggest some repertoire with some people,” he said. “And so whatever I do now, I have a stronger feeling even before that that this is going to be a joyful experience.”
That’s certainly the case regarding his longtime artistic collaboration with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. Last month, Tetzlaff joined the maestro for concerts with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach and with the San Francisco Symphony earlier in March at its home base in Davies Symphony Hall. The violinist currently is appearing as featured soloist with San Francisco, as the orchestra embarks on its final national tour with music director Tilson Thomas. The tour stops March 26 at Symphony Center for an SCP Orchestras performance.
Of course, there’s also a certain comfort level that comes with time and experience. “On every scale, if you’re 25 or so, you always have the feeling that you have to prove yourself [to] the orchestra, the reviewers, the audience,” he said. “I’ve been around a lot, so it’s not that they like me or not like me, but, ‘OK, I’ve done this, I’ve been here, this is who I am.’
“And that’s a comparatively comfortable situation.”
A version of this article appeared previously on Sounds and Stories.