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Christina Åstrand

violin
1969
© Bjarne Stæhr

Christina Åstrand is in all respects a highly remarkable and versatile violinist, whether as a soloist, a chamber musician or as leader of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra – a position she has held since winning it in 1993 at the age of 22. Her repertoire in both solo concerts and chamber works ranges from classical masterpieces to brand-new contemporary music, and she is known for her always exciting and personal interpretation of the works, whether they are classical or modern.

She has given the first performances of several violin concertos, and recorded a number of them, and she is one of the few violinists in the world to master György Ligeti’s violin concerto. Her CD recording featuring Ligeti’s and Nørgård’s violin concertos in collaboration with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Thomas Dausgaard was awarded the distinguished French Diapason d’Or in 2001.

She is a frequent guest soloist with symphony orchestras, especially in the Nordic countries, playing the major classical violin concertos. Her CD recording of violin concertos by Niels W. Gade, P.E. Lange-Müller and Rued Langgaard, in particular, has enjoyed tremendous international success.

Contemporary music has always been close to her heart. To quote Christina Åstrand herself: ‘The collaboration with composers of today has always interested me because it makes the music vibrant and meaningful, and you can describe it in concrete terms. It means I can work with new timbres and playing techniques with the composers, and the inspiration goes both ways. And, surprisingly, for me, this line of work has cast a completely different light on the ‘old music’ as well. At the beginning of my career, this was associated with too many dogmas and rules. I used to feel bound by the tight reigns of tradition. Today I feel free, no matter what music I play.’

Both as soloist and chamber musician Christina Åstrand has collaborated with several Danish composers. She has performed and premiered works by established artists like Hans Abrahamsen, Per Nørgård and Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen as well as pieces from the new young generation of composers. Recently she premiered the young Danish composer ­Allan Gravgaard Madsen’s double concerto Nachtmusik with pianist Per Salo and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. The concerto has been released together with Gudmundsen-­Holmgreen’s For Violin and Orchestra on ­Dacapo Records.

Chamber music represents a vital part of Christina Åstrand’s ­repertoire. Since 1996, she has played in Duo Åstrand/Salo with pianist Per Salo; in addition to giving countless concerts, they have recorded several highly praised and award-winning CDs. Christina Åstrand has received several prizes and honours. In 2019, she was a nominee for The ­Nordic Council Music Prize. Christina Åstrand plays a 1705 Stradivarius.

  • Otto Malling, Ludolf Nielsen, P.E. Lange-Müller, August Enna, Carl Nielsen, Louis Glass, Niels W. Gade, Johan Svendsen

    Romance

  • Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Allan Gravgaard Madsen

    Nachtmusik · For Violin and Orchestra

  • Friedrich Kuhlau

    Violin Sonatas Vol. 2

  • Martin Lohse

    Collage de temps

  • Friedrich Kuhlau

    Violin Sonatas Vol. 1

  • Kasper Rofelt

    The song I'll never sing - Works for Accordion

  • Simon Christensen

    TRIBUTES - Pulse

  • Poul Ruders, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Søren Nils Eichberg

    Distant Still - Trios for violin, horn and piano

  • Niels W. Gade, P.E. Lange-Müller, Rued Langgaard

    Romantic Violin Concertos

  • Niels W. Gade

    Sonatas for violin and piano

  • Anders Koppel

    Double Concertos

  • Emil Hartmann

    Concertos

  • Fini Henriques

    Orchestral Works

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