Martin Fröst

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Reviews of the month

”But the spotlight that night was on woodwind. Partnered with the Elias String Quartet, Fröst was consistently mesmerising in Mozart's Clarinet Quintet, his tone silky and seamless, every note meaningful.” - The Guardian, 20 May 2013, Erica Jeal http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2013/may/20/bbt-celebrated-review   ”Martin Fröst played – and rarely has the cliché been so appropriate – the stars out of the sky! The performance of Brahms Hungarian Dances even surpassed the version on his latest CD, Dances to a Black Pipe (…) It is almost as if the clarinet, like a conductor´s baton, conjures the tree tall, skinny body of this musician as a snake.” ”We all knew that the clarinet is a smart and adaptable wood wind instrument but as Martin Fröst plays the instrument, even more dimensions unfold (…) In the Clarinet Concerto by Aaron Copland, Fröst could show off his qualities, an intensely singing tone and a fabulous agility (…) Already last year in the Concertgebouw, he let us hear how totally at home he is in this sublime Eastern European swing with matching acrobatics and intentional scratch sounds. This time it was even more engaging because of his continuous interaction with the musicians of the Sinfonietta.” - De Volksrant, Amsterdam, Frits van der Waa   ”With his very personal tone, his exact playing, with musicality and inventiveness, he was convincing all the way through (…) Fröst gave an impressive demonstration that “slowly and expressively” by no means has to lead to “kitsch”. In the Hungarian Dances by Brahms, arranged by his brother Göran Fröst, he found a perfect balance between the rustic and the elegant.” - Hannoversche Allgemeine, 23 April 2013, Reiner Wagner   ”Martin Fröst is considered the “Paganini of the Clarinet” (…) He moved flowingly and with an indescribable lightness between demanding technical effects and melodic expression. The clarinet resounded as an enormously versatile instrument. It enchanted seductively and whispered tenderly, it chirped happily, howled, screamed and nagged, swayed dancingly over the floor and, with almost inaudible tones, built up a fascinating tension (…) The “Klezmer Dances for Clarinet and String Orchestra”, arranged by Göran Fröst, evoked passion and joy of living. They enticed the audience to erupt in storms of enthusiastic acclamation.” - Mittelbayerische Zeitung, 25 April 2013, Michael J David   "Enchantingly beautiful, expressive sounds loves to reach out over the limits of the music; he dances, conducts and tests the limits of possibilities on the modern concert stage. on Coplan´s Clarinet Concerto……. celebrates the big and wide American soul and landscape. Fröst evokes all this in the widely spanned lines of his clarinet. The clarinet magic of the cadenza was followed by fulminantly rhythmical music: a refined “Oklahoma”, a soloistic firework." - Neumarkter Nachrichten 25 May 2013, Uwe Mitsching


Fröst embarks on a major tour of Europe with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta

Martin Fröst embarks on a major tour of Europe with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, performing Copland’s Clarinet Concerto, Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No.1, and a selection of Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, in an arrangement for clarinet and string orchestra. The tour begins on 18 April in the Netherlands, and continues to Baden-Baden (19), Hannover (20), Berlin (21), Neumarkt (23), Maribor, Slovenia (24), and Brunico, Italy (26), ending in Amsterdam on 1 May. Later in May, Martin appears at London’s Southbank Centre, as part of a weekend of music celebrating the Borletti-Buitoni Trust 10th anniversary; Martin was one of the very first recipients of this award, which he used to commission a concerto from Kalevi Aho. Highlights of the weekend include Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet with the Elias Quartet on 17 May and an informal late-night concert, Martin Fröst and Friends, on 18 May. Further upcoming season highlights for Martin include appearances at the Grant Park Festival in Chicago and at the Verbier Festival.


International Classical Music Awards

"impressive demonstration of his wide-ranging virtuosity and musical souplesse." At the Gala Concert of the 2013 International Classical Music Awards, Martin Frösts recording Dance to a Black Pipe was singled out as "Concerto Disc of the Year". At the ceremony, which was held in Milan on the 17 March, Martin´s playing was praised in the jury’s citation as follows: In these outstanding performances the Swedish clarinet player Martin Fröst offers another impressive demonstration of his wide-ranging virtuosity and musical souplesse. He builds around the Copland Clarinet Concerto an unusual programme of works related to dance: Klezmer, Tango, Hungarian dances by Brahms, but also contemporary dances by Lutoslawski and Fröst’s compatriots Hillborg and Högberg. On ‘Dances to a Black Pipe’ Martin Fröst appears with Australian Chamber Orchestra and the orchestra’s leader and artistic director Richard Tognetti.


Fröst to receive the 2014 Sonning Music Prize

Martin among the legends - Fröst to receive the 2014 Sonning Music Prize The clarinettist Martin Fröst has been announced as the next recipient of the Léonie Sonning Music Prize, one of the oldest and most prestigious music awards in the world. Since 1959, the Danish Sonning Music Prize has been presented to the leading musical personalities of their day, including Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein, Dmitri Shostakovich, Mstislav Rostropovich, Miles Davis, Alfred Brendel, Keith Jarrett and Isaac Stern. Martin Fröst is, besides Birgit Nilsson (1966) and Eric Ericson (1991), the only Swede to receive this international award. The most recent recipient of the Léonie Sonning Music Prize is Sir Simon Rattle, who is the prize winner for 2013 and received his award in Copenhagen last weekend. For Martin Fröst to be admitted in this manner to the company of some of the foremost figures in music during the past fifty years is a tremendous honour, and also a recognition of his unique artistry and pioneering musical activities. To receive this award is a tremendous honour, and I feel humbled and privileged to be admitted into such an illustrious company of musicians. – Martin Fröst The Léonie Sonning Music Prize consists of the sum of 80.000 Euro, and will be presented at a gala concert in Copenhagen during the spring of 2014. In their deliberations, the directors of the Léonie Sonning Music Foundation are charged with the task of selecting a candidate who ranks among the best in his or her field and is likely to remain so in the future. Read more about The Sonning Music Prize sonningmusik.dk


“Dances to a Black Pipe”, Concerto disc of the year by ICMA!

Martin Fröst and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, whose imaginative disc Dances to a Black Pipe has been named Concerto Disc of the year by the International Classical Music Awards, ICMA. The programme of the disc takes in composers as diverse as Copland, Brahms, Piazzolla and Anders Hillborg – a wide-ranging selection of works which are all related to dance. Fröst chose to record these pieces with the incomparable Australian Chamber Orchestra, described by the Washington Post as combining 'the energy and vibe of a rock band with the ability of a crack classical chamber group.' The ICMA awards ceremony will be held in Milan, Italy, on 18 March, an event which also includes a gala concert broadcast through the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).


Fröst mesmerizes the audience of Salzburger Grosse Festspeilhause

Martin Fröst gave 3 sold out performances in the Grosse Festspielhaus in Salzburg together with Andrew Manzie and the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra. The two performances of Mozart´s Clarinet Concerto and one of Rolf Martinsson´s Concert Fantastique were all received with enthusiasm and standing ovations by the mesmerized audience and when the wild acclaim after the klezmer encores was rewarded with a heart rendering of the first Prelude by Bach, Salzburger Nachrichtens Karl Harb wrote: “In his interaction with the orchestra, Fröst seems to be physically present in each phrase. His somewhat cool interpretation is however built up and blown in exquisite beauty, clear, soulful and supplied with fine dynamic facets.” Martin Fröst showed that he can break loose in a charming kletzmer encore. There his instrument became a character role and one could imagine why the Swedish clarinettist is treasured not only as a brilliant dialogue partner in chamber music by the most famous colleagues but also as commissioner of new works. As an ambassador for new Swedish music, his virtuosity makes almost anything possible. He fills it with clear attack, a caressing, blossoming tone which fades away into almost soundless piano which is also joyful and brightly attacking and with a playing technique of seemingly endless bravura.


Genuinly musical! Von Otter and Fröst shine and entertain.

Martin opens the 2013 with a festive and brilliant 12th Night Gala Concert in Stockholm´s Berwald Hall, together with Anne Sofie von Otter and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Two sold out houses with an enthusiastic audience enjoyed the colourful programme which the critic of the DN newspaper, Johanna Paulsson described as follows: "Genuinly musical! Von Otter and Fröst shine and entertain." “Just like the other Swedish world class soloist of the evening, clarinettist Martin Fröst, (who also turns out to be an excellent conferencier) ..has the ability to both impress and entertain without a lot of fuss. And even if Martin Fröst now appoints himself as the evenings “opening artist” he is of course far from “the cowboy who rides alongside”. Rather the obvious shining star, whether he invites to kletzmer dancing or transforms the Radio Symphony Orchestra led by the dynamic Enrique Mazzola into a jazzy Big Band in the short but effective clarinet concerto by Artie Shaw”


Martin Fröst
©2013