Norwegian-born, Munich-based Vilde Frang is among the most prominent and versatile Scandinavian violinists of the 21st century. While she had major debuts in 1997 and 1998, the first with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and the latter with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under Mariss Jansons, she became an international presence in the early years of the new century. By her early twenties she had appeared with the major orchestras of London, Rotterdam, Zurich, Frankfurt, and Tokyo, the Russian National Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin in-the-Fields, and many other world-class ensembles. In addition, she has collaborated in chamber concerts with pianists Martha Argerich, Mitsuko Uchida, and Leif Ove Andsnes, and with violinists Gidon Kremer, Maxim Vengerov, and Anne-Sophie Mutter, who has also tutored and mentored her, and arranged financial support for her. Indeed, and Frang debuted in Carnegie Hall with Mutter in 2008 in a performance of J.S. Bach's Concerto for two violins (BWV 1043). Frang has even played a violin, the Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, on loan from the Anne-Sophie Mutter Circle of Friends Foundation. Frang plays an array of repertory, taking in works by J.S. Bach, Mozart, Grieg, Richard Strauss, Nielsen, Bartók, Prokofiev, and many others. She has recorded for EMI Classics.
Vilde Frang (also known in Scandinavia as Vilde Frang Bjærke) was born in Norway in 1986. She was a child prodigy, studying violin from age four. Her first advanced studies were at the Oslo-based Barratt Due Music Institute. In the late '90s Mutter discovered Frang and over time convinced her to continue studies in Hamburg. Frang moved to Hamburg in 2003 for studies at the Musikhochschule there, where her teachers included Kolja Blacher. She also had instruction with Ana Chumachenco at the Kronberg Academy.
Frang appeared regularly in concerts in Germany and Scandinavia during her student years, but it was her 2007 debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra that thrust her into the limelight. EMI began negotiating a recording deal with her, and Frang's first recording, the Sibelius Violin Concerto and Prokofiev First Concerto, was issued in 2009. That effort garnered the Spellemannspris, a Norwegian version of the Grammy.
In 2010 Frang was named EMI Classics' Young Artist of the Year. Her second recording came that same year, a disc of Chopin works on which she appeared in the Trio for piano and strings, with cellist Andreas Brantelid and pianist Marianna Shirinyan. In 2011 Frang received the Edison Klassiek Newcomer Award in the Hague. The indefatigable violinist has hardly had time to collect all her awards and citations, as she has carried a heavy schedule of concerts, not only at the major concert and recital halls, but at music festivals.
Her 2011 schedule included tours of Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Japan, a ten-concert tour with Mutter, and appearances at the Bergen Festival, Mozart-Festwochen in Wurzburg, Festival of Northern Norway, Kronberg Festival, and many others. Frang's 2011 EMI CD of works by Grieg, Bartók, and Richard Strauss, with pianist Michail Lifits, was another critically acclaimed effort, as was her 2012 recording of the Nielsen and Tchaikovsky concertos.