Professor of Viola and Chamber Music
Henrik Frendin is known as one of today's most accomplished Scandinavian viola players.
He studied at The Royal Danish Conservatory and graduated with soloist diploma in 1989. At that time he had already a principal seat in the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. In 1991, Henrik Frendin left the orchestra and began a career as a soloist and chamber musician managed by the Swedish Concert Institute. This led to numerous concerts and radio recordings in Sweden and abroad. He has recorded and performed extensively since the early ´90s.
At the same time, he began to teach at the Malmö Academy of Music where he is since 2013 professor of viola and chamber music. Many of his former students claim top positions in Swedish orchestras. He has given master classes at the Guildhall School of Music in London, University of California - USA, Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, National Music Academy of Mexico City and Hochschule für Musik "Felix Mendelssohn" in Leipzig amongst others. He has also been teaching viola and chamber music besides holding a position as Head of Strings both at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and School of Music & Drama in Gothenburg.
He has appeared as soloist with most of the Swedish orchestras as well as the European Union Chamber Orchestra and worked with conductors such as Enrique Mazzola, Joseph Swensen, Hannu Linntu and B Tommy Andersson. He has toured extensively in most European countries, Asia, North and South America and was also a performing artist at the International Viola Congresses in Wellington - New Zeeland, Kronberg and Würzburg - Germany, Montreal - Canada, Rotterdam - the Netherlands and Poznan - Poland. Between 2005-2009 he served as Executive Secretary of the International Viola Society.
Numerous compositions for the viola have been dedicated to him. In 2002, he gave the first performance of two viola concertos at the festival ”Lange Nacht der Neue Klänge” in Wiener Konzerthaus. A special interest of using amplified string instruments in the field of electro-acoustical music, has led to the development of a rare personal voice of the viola. This is a result of a long-term collaboration with the innovative instrument maker Richard Rolf, who has constructed and built unique amplified violas especially for him. These custom made instruments, a 5-string Electric Viola Grande, followed by an updated 4-string version, has set a new sound standard in the making of electrified string instruments. This has inspired him to explore new concert settings of art & technology together with computer musician/researcher Prof. Henrik Frisk and the internationally renowned electronica artist Sebastian Mullaert, truly breaking new ground. His artistic output covers a wide range of musical genres from early baroque to contemporary electro-acoustical and modern jazz.
Henrik Frendin is represented on several CD labels. On Chamber Sound he made a highly acclaimed recording of the pieces for viola by Robert Schumann. His long-term collaboration with saxophone player Joakim Milder can be heard in three albums on Dragon Records from the ´90s. In 2003 he released a solo album with his own transcriptions of music by J S Bach on dB-productions. His solo CD; Viola Con Forza (Phono Suecia) is a portrait album where he presents new Swedish solo pieces written in the 21st century. This album was nominated for a Swedish Grammy in the category "classical solo of the year". His baroque viola playing can be heard on BIS label together with recorder player Dan Laurin.