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Duo Åstrand/Salo consists of Christina Åstrand (violin) and Per Salo (piano), who in many years of playing together have built up an extensive repertoire from Bach to brand new music. Danish music enjoys a privileged place in the duo’s repertoire. One of the shared goals of the two musicians is to spread knowledge of Danish music both within and outside Denmark, and their concert programmes almost always include Danish works, as evidenced also by their CD production. In 2007 the duo’s CD of Carl Nielsen’s violin sonatas won two prizes at the Danish Music Awards, and in 2009 they released a critically acclaimed CD with the three violin sonatas of the Danish Romantic composer Niels W. Gade. In 2012 the duo released violin sonatas by Ravel, Bloch and Janacek on both CD and DVD for Orchid Classics, recorded in the beautiful DR concert hall in Copenhagen.
Christina Åstrand and Per Salo are both members of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, respectively as concertmaster and pianist/organist. Åstrand is one of the most notable violinists in Scandinavia today. As a soloist she regularly appears with the leading symphony orchestras in Scandinavia. Many Danish composers have written works for her or dedicated them to her, and she is one of the few violinists in the world who has Györgi Ligeti’s violin concerto in her repertoire. In 2014 Christina Åstrand makes her American debut in N.W. Gade’s violin concerto with the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra. Christina Åstrand plays on a Stradivarius from 1705.
Per Salo studied piano and organ in Denmark, Italy and the USA. He is an active soloist and chamber musician and has toured with a large repertoire in among other regions Scandinavia, Europe, Korea and the USA. Many Danish composers have written music for him, including Per Nørgård, who wrote and dedicated his piano concerto Concerto in due Tempi to him.
As soloists Åstrand and Salo have each recorded violin and piano concertos by Per Nørgård on CD for Chandos as well as Emil Hartmann’s violin and piano concertos for Dacapo. Åstrand is even the soloist on a Dacapo CD in three Danish Romantic violin concertos by Niels W. Gade, P.E. Lange-Müller and Rued Langgaard, while Salo appears as the piano soloist on the Danish National Symphony Orchestra’s CD recording of Rued Langgaard’s Third Symphony conducted by Thomas Dausgaard.