About

 Henrik Frendin is known as one of today’s leading Scandinavian viola players. Coming from a classical background, his artistic output covers a wide range of musical genres from baroque to contemporary electro-acoustical and modern jazz. He describes his musical personality as a dichotomy of being a formalist and improviser.

After graduating from The Royal Danish Conservatory, he immediately got a principal seat in the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, being the youngest member of the orchestra. In 1991, Henrik Frendin left the orchestra and began a life as a soloist and chamber musician. This step was the starting point of a long intriguing career exploring all musical aspects of being a violist. 

As soloist, he has appeared with most of the Swedish orchestras as well as the European Union Chamber Orchestra and toured extensively in the European countries, Asia, North and South America. Numerous compositions for the viola have been dedicated to him. In 2002, he gave the first performance of two viola concertos by Roland Freisitzer and Fredrik Söderberg at the festival ”Lange Nacht der Neue Klänge” in Wiener Konzerthaus. In 2011 he premiered the viola concerto”Music Noir” for electric viola and orchestra by composer Daniel Nelson, together with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Enrique Mazzola live broadcasted in Europe.

An early interest in electro acoustical music has led to a long-term collaboration with the instrument maker Richard Rolf, who has constructed and built custom made violas exclusively for him. 

These instruments has set a new standard in the field of constructing electrified string instruments with an authentic sound. It has also led him to explore new concert settings of art & technology together with composers like Kent Olofsson and Henrik Frisk. His latest collaboration in this genre includes the live electronica artist Sebastian Mullaert.

As a recording artist he is represented on several CD labels;

On Chamber Sound he made a highly acclaimed recording of the pieces for viola & clarinet by Robert Schumann. This CD was in chosen as one of the top three classical albums of the year by Svenska Dagbladet.

His long-term collaboration with saxophonist/composer Joakim Milder can be heard in three albums on Dragon Records from the 90`s. 

In 2003 he released a solo album with his own transcriptions for viola of music by J S Bach on dB-productions. The album includes Fantasia Chromatica & Fugue (BWV 903), Suite in d-minor for lute (BWV 997) & Concerto for viola and strings in E flat-major.

His solo CD ”Viola Con Forza” on Phono Suecia is a portrait album where he presents Swedish solo viola pieces written in the 21st century all dedicated to Henrik Frendin. This album was nominated for a Swedish Grammy in the category “classical solo of he year”. 

His baroque viola playing can be heard at BIS label on the album ”The father, the son and the godfather”. This CD was awarded ”CD of the month” in BBC Music Magazine.

His collaboration Sebastian Mullaert has resulted in the album HIND 2024 on Lamour Records.

Henrik Frendin is Professor of viola & chamber music and Head of Strings at the Malmö Academy of Music/Lund University. He has also held a position as viola teacher and Head of Strings both at Royal College of Music in Stockholm and School of Music & Drama in Gothenburg.

He has given master classes at the Guildhall School of Music in London, University of California, Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, National Music Academy of Mexico City and Hochschule für Musik “Felix Mendelssohn” in Leipzig and Lübeck, Escuela Superior de Musica in Barcelona amongst others. Several of his former students claim top positions in Swedish orchestras. 

He is the artistic director of the chamber music festival ”Chamber music without borders”. A hidden gem in the Swedish music establishment.