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Personal profile

Artistic work


HENRIK FRENDIN is Professor of viola & chamber music and Head of strings at the Malmö Academy of Music/Lund University. He is known as one of today's most accomplished Scandinavian viola players. His artistic output covers a wide range of musical genres from classical to contemporary electro-acoustical and modern jazz.

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. At the same time, he started to teach at the Malmö Academy of Music in 1990, where he since 2013 is holding a position as professor of viola and chamber music. Several 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 - San Diego, 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.

He has also held a position as viola teacher and 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 several Swedish orchestras as well as the European Union Chamber Orchestra and has toured extensively in most European countries, Asia, North and South America.

Henrik Frendin has a long international career as chamber musician in various groups and projects. Since 2007 he is also the artistic director of his own chamber music festival ”Kammarmusik i vintertid” at Sahlströmsgården, Torsby. This festival has existed since 1960 and is one of the oldest classical festivals in Sweden.

He has served as Executive secretary in the International Viola Society and was also a performing artist at the International Viola Congresses in Wellington - New Zeeland, Kronberg and Würzburg - Germany, Montreal - Canada, Reykjavik - Iceland, Rotterdam - Holland and Poznan - Poland. He was the founder of the Swedish Viola Society, a national section of the IVS. In 2000 he was a organizing the first International Viola Congress ever in Sweden, Linköping. In 2009 he was the director of the Nordic Viola Symposium, an important venue for bringing Scandinavian violists together.

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 Swedish/American composer Daniel Nelson, together with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Enrique Mazzola. The concert was broadcasted live in Europe by the EBU.

Through a long term collaboration with the instrument maker Richard Rolf, he has developed a new amplified string instrument called Electric Viola Grande. This instrument has set a new standard in this 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 computer musician & researcher, prof. Henrik Frisk. This duo has truly breaking new ground with their international performances.


Henrik Frendin is represented on several CD labels and has made over 25 CDs both as solo artist and co-musician.

On Chamber Sound he made a highly acclaimed recording of the pieces for viola & clarinet by Robert Schumann. This CD was in 1995 chosen as one of the top three classical albums of the year by Svenska Dagbladet.

His long-term collaboration with saxophone player Joakim Milder can be heard in three albums on the leading Swedish jazz label 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) and 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. He also presents some compositions of his own. 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” together with recorder player Dan Laurin. This CD was awarded ”CD of the month” in BBC Music Magazine feb 2012.

UKÄ subject classification

  • Music