Norwegian-born, Munich-based Vilde Frang has been among the most prominent and versatile Scandinavian violinists of the 21st century. She came on the scene as a teenage prodigy and has fulfilled the promise shown by her many awards.
Frang was born in Oslo on August 19, 1986. She was a product of Suzuki method violin instruction, which she began at age four. In 1993, she began studies at the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo. She gained attention from her teachers, who included Henning Kraggerud, and in 1997, at age ten, she made her debut with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra; a year later, she was chosen by conductor Mariss Jansons to appear with the Oslo Philharmonic. In 1998, she met violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, who became an important mentor and inspiration. Mutter convinced Frang to move to Hamburg, and she held a scholarship at the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation there from 2003 to 2009. By the early 2000s, Frang's schedule included appearances with top-rank orchestras in many European capitals as well as in Tokyo. A major publicity boost was provided by her debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007, and American audiences were exposed to her through a duo appearance with Mutter in a Bach two-violin concerto in 2008. After this already enviable career, Frang was still considered a young artist. She was named EMI Classics' Young Artist of the Year in 2010, and the following year she received the Edison Klassiek Newcomer Award in the Netherlands. Frang has also been an active chamber music player, and not only with Mutter: her partners include pianists Martha Argerich and Mitsuko Uchida and violinist Gidon Kremer.
Frang took her time before recording major repertory. Signing with EMI Classics, she released her debut, featuring the Sibelius Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 47, and the Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 19, in 2010. When the Warner Classics imprint was split off from EMI, the charismatic and photogenic Frang was a natural; she issued an album of Mozart violin concertos with the historical-instrument ensemble Arcangelo in 2015 and has continued to record for Warner Classics. In 2018, she issued a recording of Bartók's Violin Concerto No. 1 on that label. Frang's concert appearances in the late 2010s have included those with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra. Among her conductor collaborators have been Valery Gergiev, Manfred Honeck, and Sir Simon Rattle.
© James Manheim /TiVo