Home > Artists > Martin Fröst


Artistic Director: Stavanger Chamber Music Festival
Artistic Director: Vinterfest


In May 2014 Martin Fröst will be presented with the Léonie Sonning Music Prize, which is now recognized as one of the world’s longest standing and highest musical honours. He is the first clarinettist to be chosen for the award. 

Autumn 2013 sees the release on BIS of an all Mozart CD – the Clarinet Concerto, in which Fröst directs The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Kegelstatt Trio with Leif Ove Andsnes and Antoine Tamestit and the Allegro in B flat with Janine Jansen, Boris Brovtsyn, Maxim Rysanov and Torleif Thedéen. Fröst also performs the Mozart Concerto in his debuts with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin  and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. On tour, he performs the concerto with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Camerata Salzburg, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.

Other upcoming highlights include Fröst’s debuts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Bamberger Symphoniker, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, Cincinnati Symphony, Houston Symphony and Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra. He will also be Artist in Residence at the Gothenburg Symphony, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and London’s Wigmore Hall.

A keen recitalist and chamber musician, appearances in 2013/14 include a series of concerts with Marc-André Hamelin and Anthony Marwood, with performances in Boston, San Francisco, and London’s Wigmore Hall.

2014 marks the 10th season of Vinterfest in Mora, Sweden, of which Martin Fröst is Artistic Director. He also holds the post of Artistic Director of the International Chamber Music Festival in Stavanger, Norway.

The short biography displayed on this page is for information only. For concert programmes and promotional materials please use the downloadable versions.


"There are plenty of virtuosic fireworks in Poulenc’s Clarinet Sonata, which showed off Mr. Fröst’s impeccable technique. But the most astonishing moments were some of the quiet ones, including a pianissimo line in the Romanza that was so subtle and so private as to evoke a sound half remembered." (The New York Times, August 2014)

"Rarely has Johannes Brahms' Clarinet Quintet been heard in recent times with such exquisite shading, performed by five musicians, each one at the top of their game. In particular, a finer, more balance and more intimate sound than Martin Fröst’s would be hard to find." (Christoph Schlüren, Klassik Heute, July 2014)

"Mr. Fröst’s reading of the Mozart concerto was a paragon of lyricism: breathtaking in its pianissimos, utterly fluid in its legatos, gleaming in its ornamental flourishes…. The spectacular encore… began as a modest improvisation on licks from Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and opened into two riotous outbursts of klezmerlike note-spinning, ranging mercurially from the most delicate and attenuated to the most raucous, with the orchestra jamming alongside. Between the two performances Mr. Fröst exhibited a virtuosity and a musicianship unsurpassed by any clarinetist — perhaps any instrumentalist — in my memory." (James R. Oestreich, The New York Times, December 2013)

"The soloist is the internationally acclaimed Martin Fröst, who, out of this greatest of all clarinet concertos, creates something that gets deep under the skin. Seamlessly and with a velvety tone, he strides through the huge range of his instrument, and on the borders of silence, there are windows to the soul opening up. In the unpretentious sensuality of the Adagio, the music speaks with even more intensity when sounding so perfectly natural. ….stupendous, virtuosic, and exhilarating – more Fröst please!" (Peter Korfmacher, Leipziger Volkszeitung, November 2013)

“Fröst Sparkles…. His virtuosity at the clarinet is unassailable, but what really changes the rules is his ability to bring the audience into his confidence, holding a collective breath, waiting for the note.” (Harriet Cunningham, The Sydney Morning Herald, November 2013)

“It’s not every woodwind player who can hold an audience spellbound… but then not everyone is Martin Fröst, possibly the world’s leading clarinet virtuoso. The delicacy of his pianissimo playing in the Adagio was extraordinary - ‘heaven beckoning’.” (Clive Paget, Limelight, November 2013)

“Clarinettist steals the show… most impressive was the security of his incredible dynamic range used so effectively in the reprise of the famous Adagio melody.” (Martin Duffy, The Age, November 2013)

“He remains one of this masterpiece’s supreme interpreters...His tempi remain remarkably constant, but he brings a more introverted, spiritual dimension here, and relishes the opera buffa wit of the Rondo finale.”  (Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, October 2013)

“It’s some of the best controlled pianissimos that I’ve heard on the clarinet for quite a while. The most beautiful, even sound and taking such care with the gradations of dynamics and ends of the phrases… what more could you want?” (Andrew MacGregor, BBC Radio 3, October 2013)

“Fröst shone in the [Concerto Fantastique] dedicated to him. Crescendi evolving from the quietest pianissimo, fulminant glissandi, and singing to his own playing: Fröst pulled out every stop of his astonishing technical abilities.” (Der Bund, October 2013)

"The Swedish clarinetist brought astounding technical assurance and a rock-star-like swagger to this demanding music  [Nielsen's Clarinet Concerto]. Fröst blazed through the difficulties, with a robust tone and personality-plus character in the cadenzas, throwing off the virtuosic passages, rapid trilling, and myriad challenges with liquid agility and seemingly effortless ease.' (Lawrence A. Johnson, The Chicago Classical Review, June 2013)

"The spotlight that night was on woodwind....Fröst was consistently mesmerising in Mozart's Clarinet Quintet, his tone silky and seamless, every note meaningful." (Erica Jeal, The Guardian, May 2013)

"Mr. Fröst is a kinetic player with a vivid interpretive imagination and a sharply focused, warm tone...At times, particularly in the opening Allegro, he preferred to surf the orchestra’s sound rather than to stand out over it, but it was never a matter of not making the solo line heard; rather he was more engaged with the dialogue between the clarinet and the strings than with holding the spotlight. That changed — the scoring leaves little choice — in the bittersweet Adagio, which he played with a ravishing serenity." (The New York Times, August 2012)

"Frost gave a tour-de-force performance of a work that has become his calling card: “Peacock Tales,” by the Swedish composer Anders Hillborg… Slender, agile and an impressive dancer, Mr. Frost gave a riveting performance.” (The New York Times, June 2012)

“His performances the following morning of Béla Bartók's "Contrasts" (composed for Benny Goodman) and Copland's haunting Clarinet Concerto were organic and sublime.” (The Wall Street Journal, June 2012)


Annette Förger
+44 (0)20 3725 9179


HarrisonParrott Artists at the Mostly Mozart Festival
Martin Fröst receives the Léonie Sonning Music Prize for 2014
Martin Fröst makes his conducting debut with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Xian Zhang & Martin Fröst appear with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Martin Fröst makes his debut with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall
Martin Fröst makes his debut with Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
New recording of Mozart Clarinet Concerto from Martin Fröst is released on BIS
Five HarrisonParrott artists appear at the Verbier Festival
Martin Fröst embarks on a major tour of Europe with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta
HarrisonParrott takes ensembles and dance to Turkey this spring
Martin Fröst to receive the Léonie Sonning Music Prize, 2014
Martin Fröst gives world premiere at Concertgebouw Amsterdam
Seven HarrisonParrott Artists appear at Mostly Mozart Festival
Osmo Vänskä and Martin Fröst perform with Wiener Symphoniker
Martin Fröst debuts at Ojai Music Festival
Osmo Vänskä and Martin Fröst perform with Los Angeles Philharmonic
Martin Fröst given Litteris et Artibus medal by King of Sweden
Martin Fröst performs Debussy & Hillborg with Luzerner Sinfonieorchester
Martin Fröst begins European tour with Australian Chamber Orchestra
Martin Fröst and Xian Zhang perform with the Wiener Symphoniker
Martin Fröst makes his debut with La Verdi and Xian Zhang
Martin Fröst performs final concerts of Kölner Philharmonie residency
Martin Fröst gives first performance with Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä