b. 1975, nr. Trondheim, Norway. Haltli began playing accordion at the age of seven and although he also played French horn and trombone in wind bands it was to remain his principal instrument. As a child he played folk music but soon moved into different forms. Playing music by composers Pietr Fiala, Torbjörn Lundquist and others, he swiftly developed exceptional instrumental skills alongside a deep understanding of new music. In his early years he won numerous national contests, raising interest in and appreciation of the accordion to unprecedented heights. Haltli studied at the Norwegian State Academy of Music, then at the Royal Danish Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, graduating in 2000. In 2001 the Norwegian Concert Institute named him Young Soloist Of The Year and in the same year he was placed second in the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition in the Netherlands. Concerts throughout Norway as well as elsewhere in Scandinavia and in several other countries, including the USA, raised awareness still further. Directing his career into explorations of new music, he became associated with like-minded musicians mainly in Europe where the development of adventurous forms has grown throughout recent years. He has played with the trio Poing, alongside saxophonist Rolf-Erik Nystrøm and bass player Håkon Thelin, with Jon Balke, Trygve Seim and Phil Minton. Haltli has established links with several composers, notably Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje who is one of several who have written especially for him; others include Bent Sørensen, PerMagnus Lindborg, Asbjørn Schaathun, Joyce Bee Tuan Koh and Sam Hayden. Haltli has also performed contemporary classical works, including several concertos for the accordion, appearing with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and Oslo Sinfonietta. He has also played Norwegian folk music, notably with Rusk in which he is teamed with singer Unni Løvlid and violinist Vegar Vårdal, but has made clear that his stylistic preference is for new music. On his 2007 recording Passing Images, Haltli is joined by trumpeter Arve Henriksen, viola player Garth Knox, and vocalist Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje, for a selection of lyrical explorations of folk themes couched in the form of contemporary improvised music.
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Classical - Released September 26, 2014 | Hubro
Vagabonde Blu is accordionist Frode Haltli's fourth recording under his own name, but his first true solo album: He is the only performer listed on the credits. Recorded live in 2009 during a concert at Oslo's Tomba Emmanuelle, it features three lengthy pieces by contemporary composers. The title track was authored by Salvatore Sciarrino, "Flashing" is by Arne Nordheim, and "Ein Kleines…" by Aldo Clementi. This date marks the first time Haltli has recorded Nordheim's piece; he reprised it with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra under the direction of Christian Eggen in 2012 on Arne Nordheim: Complete Accordion Works. This version, while much lower in fidelity, is actually preferable because it is longer by nearly half, and one can hear Haltli discovering its possibilities as he performs it without a net. That said, one has to wonder if the venue here should be credited as a collaborator. It was built in 1926 by artist Emanuel Vigeland as a place to showcase his paintings. He later bricked up its many windows and it became his mausoleum -- an urn containing his ashes sits above the entrance. Given its hard surfaces, an insistent yet natural reverb becomes another sonic element in Haltli's interpretations: he plays, listens back, and reacts. (That all three works allow for real improvisational liberties is a boon.) The title piece here is most indicative of this, its spaciousness and economic phraseology layer rather than stack cadences and what amounts to a kind of dialogic call and response between Haltli and Tomba Emmanuelle occurs. Over 42 minutes, the accordionist not only displays inspired, disciplined, and expert musicianship, but also a sense of awe as a listener who co-creates with the room's own "voices" in realizing these performances. ~ Thom Jurek
Classical - Released November 9, 2012 | Simax Classics
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