Christina Åstrand (b. 1969) began playing the violin at the age of 4 according to the Suzuki method. She was just 13 and hardly out of primary school when she was admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Aarhus. Throughout her training – and later too – Tutter Givskov was her principal teacher and inspiration.
After taking her diploma exam in 1988, Christina Åstrand went to Paris to study further. Once she was back home again the Danes noticed the talented young violinist in earnest when she stepped in to replace the soloist in a concert with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. Immediately after this Christina Åstrand became the leader of the newly founded ensemble Aarhus Sinfonietta. At the age of 22 she became leader of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR, a position she has retained ever since, only interrupted by maternity leave twice. Christina Åstrand has played as a guest soloist with all the leading Scandinavian orchestras. Her repertoire ranges from classical concertos by Beethoven, Sibelius and Tchaikovsky to brand new contemporary compositions. She has premiered several violin concertos and is one of the few violinists in the world who can be persuaded to play Ligeti’s violin concerto.
As a chamber musician Christina Åstrand plays often and willingly – especially with her husband, Per Salo, who is the pianist with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR. Sometimes they tour as a duo, sometimes they can be heard with the hornist Jakob Keiding in the Danish Horn Trio.
Christina Åstrand has performed on many CDs. She has for example recorded Per Nørgård’s and Ligeti’s violin concertos with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR. With the Danish Horn Trio Åstrand has released works by Brahms and Ligeti, and she also appears on recordings of music by Gade, Debussy and Fini Henriques.