The 10 year anniversary of the Vinterfest in Mora also was Martin Fröst’s final season as Artistic Leader for the festival. Taking place in February this year the 2015 festival was praised in the international press. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote: “Fröst plays up to 200 concerts a year, he is Artist in Residence at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam as well as the London Wigmore Hall, and still he finds the time to lead a festival in Mora, 350 km North of Stockholm, that one easily can line up with the many other small, prestigious music events such as Gidion Kremer’s Lockenhaus-Festival, Sviatoslav Richter’s former Refugium in Tours, Vladimir Spivakov’s Festival Colmar or Leif Ove Andne’s Winter Festival in Røros.” FAZ, Wolfgang Sandner 24.02.2015 Photo: Nikolaj Lund
One of the finest Chamber Orchestras in the US, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota, has announced that they have engaged Martin Fröst as their Artistic Leader/Partner. St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s president Bruce Coppock says: “In seeking Artistic Partners for the SPCO, we first look for artists who have an inordinate capacity to inspire our audiences and musicians alike. Martin Fröst’s concerts with the SPCO last month were perhaps the most kinetic, awe-inspiring performances SPCO audiences have ever experienced, and the energy Martin released into our musicians was the very definition of leadership through inspiration.” The collaboration with St. Paul Chamber Orchestra continues up to and including the season 2018/19. This is Martin Fröst’s first international position as Artistic Leader. St. Paul Chamber Orchestra will be one of Martins partners in developing his new Genesis project and recordings, commissions of new repertoire and international touring, including a major tour of the Far East will be key aspects of Martin Fröst’s soloist and conducting residency. https://content.thespco.org/people/martin-frost/
The prestigious German music magazine Fono Forum has voted Martin Fröst’s best selling recording of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, where he appears both as leader and soloist of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, among the "10 best recording of 2014". The motivation was: "Mozart’s clarinet Concerto in an outstanding, sonorous presentation which in addition illuminates the imperative compositional development of the 3 movements in an exemplary way." Fono Forum, Ingo Harden, December 2014
Described earlier this season by The Sunday Times as "the world’s greatest clarinetist" and by The New York Times as possessing “a virtuosity and musicianship unsurpassed by any clarinetist — perhaps any instrumentalist — in living memory”, Martin's first disc for Sony will see him perform as both conductor and soloist and will be recorded with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra at the Konserthuset in Stockholm. The album is set for release in January 2016. On signing the contract, Sony Classical's President Bogdan Roscic said: "Seeing and hearing Martin Fröst is one of the strongest experiences classical music offers at the moment. Audiences around the world react to it with an enthusiasm bordering on euphoria. Martin is able to convey an overwhelming sense of being taken closer to the music's essence and has found ways of expressing that which are quite unique in our business. He has already built a remarkable discography and we are very proud that he has chosen to continue it on Sony Classical." Martin Fröst comments: "I am absolutely delighted to be joining such an important and iconic label as Sony Classical and feel honoured to be signing as an exclusive artist at a time which also marks the beginning of a new and exciting period for me musically. Our first collaboration will form a part of my new multi-year project “Genesis”, a project that I will be performing with a number of orchestras around the world and that will focus on the sources of classical music and the exploration of how we can open new doors into the future. I am really excited about sharing our ideas and working together on what I hope will be new, innovative and creative projects." Photo © Mats Bäcker
New York Times talks to Martin about his upcoming projects Read the entire interview here.
As London audiences gear up for his Wigmore Hall Residency, both the BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone published in-depth interviews with Martin and paid tribute to his new recording of the Brahms’ chamber music which Gramophone singled out for an Editor’s Choice: “Sensuous beauty and taut sinew mingle for an interpretation from five soloists whose fastidious attention to internal balance and every musical detail result in sovereign excellence, in a sovereign recording …. Fröst’s control of instrumental color is superfine, intensity of phrases shaped through swell and diminution of sound, timbres voiced to express the character of words in the transcribed songs.” Gramophone Magazine “The clarinet rises from the opening bars of the Quintet like woodsmoke.“ BBC Music Magazine There was no less praise from Brahms’ native Germany: “From the first to the last note this is an amazing Brahms recording - with perhaps the best clarinetist in the world today." NDR Radio, CD of the Week “Rarely is Johannes Brahms’ late Clarinet Quintet heard with such exquisite shading, performed by five of the leading performers of their instruments. In particular, a finer, more balanced, intimate performance than Martin Fröst’s is hard to find.“ Klassik Heute The recording was also chosen as CD of the Week by BBC Radio 3 (UK), France Musique (France), ABC Radio (Australia), Der Telegraaf and AVRO (The Netherlands) Dags Avisen (Norway), Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden).
In addition to appearances with orchestras such as the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra and Radio Suisse Romande this season, Martin will embark on a number of exciting multi concert residencies in London, Amsterdam, Gothenburg and Cincinnati. These residencies will enable Martin to appear in programmes both as soloist, conductor and chamber musician and to present his much praised concept “Dollhouse” to new audiences.
Martin returned to New York last month, launching the new season with two concerts at the Mostly Mozart Festival. The New York Times welcomed him back, previewing his appearance as the “stupendous Swedish clarinettist” and following with a review which opened "In earlier times, the talent of Martin Frost would have attracted suspicion. Like that of Paganini… there is something approaching the supernatural about his command of his instrument”. New York did not leave it at that. Whilst in the big apple the International New York Times met up with Martin to interview him about the new season and talk about upcoming projects, including performances of “Dollhouse” and a major new project entitled “Genesis” which is currently in the making: “Few performers on any instrument have earned a reputation for virtuosity and seductive tone comparable to that enjoyed by Mr. Frost for more than a decade … And Mr. Frost can be expected to champion the clarinet’s repertoire of concertos and chamber works for many years to come — a repertoire he has helped to enlarge through numerous commissions.”
Léonie Sonning Music Prize pays tribute to Martin Fröst as “one of the most visionary musical artists of our time”
On Saturday 10 May, Martin Fröst became the first clarinetist and third Swede to receive the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in Copenhagen. First awarded in 1959, winners of one of the most prestigious prizes in classical music have included Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein, Birgit Nilsson, Dmitri Shostakovich, Per Nørgård, Sviatoslav Richter, Cecilia Bartoli and Simon Rattle. In the spirit of the annual award Martin Fröst participated in a week’s programme of music making in both Copenhagen and Aarhus where he gave chamber music concerts and master-classes before joining the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Thomas Søndergårdon on Saturday night at the Copenhagen Konserthus for a further full programme of music before being presented with the DK 600 000 prize. In giving the prize the jury paid tribute to Fröst’s “sublimely musical interpretations of both the classical and modern repertoire for his instrument. With his superb musicianship, Martin Fröst has inspired a large number of contemporary composers to create innovative works for the clarinet. By virtue of a quite exceptional stage presence in which auditory and visual impressions are united in a wonderful way, Martin Fröst has shown himself to be one of the most visionary musical artists of our time.” Reviewing Saturday night’s prize concert in Copenhagen Berlingske national paper commented: “Martin Fröst is 43 years old and one of the eight wonders of the world on the clarinet … And when he delivers a two hour show in this manner at the Concert Hall on Saturday evening, yes: he is the obvious recipient of the Léonie Sonning Music Prize … Fröst plays with a unique feeling for the present. Soulful in the slow parts and unbelievably virtuosic in the quick parts. Marvellous, simply matchless. He embraces it all and masters almost everything. “Even the marble values of Mozart (Clarinet Concerto) are communicated to everyone and he receives the first of four standing ovations. He underplays the main melodies and gives the smaller strands all the more space, a new embellishment here, a surprising interlude there. The whole fantastic focus on the magic of the moment takes your breath away.” Politiken agreed: “Nothing at the Sonning prize concert was left to chance. This is a musician with very high and rare demands for intensity, precision and luxury in every single note … “Raise your hats, ladies and gentlemen, to the clarinet genius of our time.” Photo © Nikolaj Lund / Léonie Sonning Music Prize
On May 10, the Swedish clarinetist Martin Fröst received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in Copenhagen making him the third Swede in the history of the prize to be awarded. First given in 1959 to Igor Stravinsky, subsequent recipients have included Birgit Nilsson, Eric Ericson, Leonard Bernstein, Olivier Messiaen, Miles Davis and most recently Sir Simon Rattle. The entire list of winners reads as the whose who of musical history and for Martin Fröst to receive the award is an immense honour. Coinciding with the prize, BIS will release Martin Fröst’s new Brahms chamber music CD featuring the Clarinet Quintet, Trio and songs arranged for clarinet by Fröst himself. Partnering him are his regular collaborators Janine Jansen, Boris Brovtsyn, Maxim Rysanov, Torleif Thedéen and Roland Pöntinen. Fröst’s 2013 release of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, recorded with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, was chosen amongst the Top 10 CDs of the year by the Sunday Times which commented “arguably the world’s greatest clarinetist … reveling in the virtuosity, wit and pathos of Mozart’s last orchestral work”. Following his Carnegie Hall performance of the Mozart concerto in December 2013, the New York Times wrote “Mr Frost exhibited a virtuosity and musicianship unsurpassed by any clarinetist – perhaps any instrumentalist – in my memory”. Martin Fröst will give two concerts of repertoire ranging from Mozart to the Danish composer Bent Sørensen as part of the Sonning Prize celebrations in Copenhagen, following which he joins members of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra for performances of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet in Oslo (May 13 & 14),concluding his season as Guest Artistic Leader with the ensemble. On May 28 Fröst will perform Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto at the Vienna Konzerthaus together with Jonathan Nott and the Bamberger Symphoniker and on August 4 he returns to New York for the Mostly Mozart Festival at the LincolnCenter. With the start of the 2014 / 15 season Martin Fröst embarks on three new year-long residencies at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Göteborg’s Konserthus and London’s Wigmore Hall and in February 2015 he will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Vinterfest – the immensely successful chamber music festival which he founded together with the Dala Sinfonietta in the heart of Sweden, set against the vast expanse of the frozen Dalarna, winter landscape.