Christina Åstrand nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize
Christina Åstrand is one of the most prominent violinists in Scandinavia. That status is now consolidated by a nomination for the prestigious Nordic Council Music Prize.
Christina Åstrand picked up the violin at the age of 4 and already as a 13-year old she was accepted at The Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus. Since the age of 22, she has held the position as concertmaster in the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, where she celebrated her 25th anniversary in 2018.
A Nordic prize for innovation
The Nordic Council Music Prize is awarded for musicianship of the highest standard, to a living composer one year and to an ensemble or individual musician the next. In both cases, the award is given to an artist who is considered innovative in his or her field.
The jury motivates the nomination of Christina Åstrand with these words:
“Christina Åstrand (b. 1969) is at all levels an extremely remarkable and comprehensive violinist, whether as a soloist, chamber musician or as concert master in the Danish National Symphony Orchestra – the latter is a position she has held since 1993, when she, as a 22-year-old, won the position. Her repertoire in both solo concertos and chamber works ranges from classical masterpieces to contemporary music, and she is known for her ever exciting and personal interpretation of the music, whether it be classical works or contemporary music.”
Alongside the career in the symphony orchestra, Christina Åstrand puts her musical energy into Duo Åstrand/Salo together with the pianist Per Salo. The duo is a creative sanction as she described it in an interview with DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) on occasion of her 25th anniversary:
“We have always been dedicated to Danish music, and lately we have spent a lot of time on the music of Friedrich Kuhlau. Together with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, we have also commissioned a new work by the composer Allan Gravgaard Madsen, a double concerto for violin, piano and symphony orchestra, because it is important to us to contribute to the creation of something completely new.”
Romantic sonatas and brand new orchestra works
Christina Åstrand is featured on numerous releases by Dacapo, which reflect her great efforts in the field of Danish music. Most recently Duo Åstrand/Salo recorded Friedrich Kuhlau’s Violin Sonatas vol. 2, and simultaneously initiated the re-publication of the sheet music for all Kuhlau’s violin sonatas.
In the spring of 2020 Dacapo is to release an album with Christina Åstrand as the soloist together with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in violin works by Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen and Hans Abrahamsen as well as the new double concerto by Allan Gravgaard Madsen. All works on that release are written for Christina Åstrand.
Later in 2020, an album with Danish romantic violin works will be released featuring Christina Åstrand and the Finish orchestra Turku Philharmonic.