Frode Haltli

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About this artist

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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