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.