Frank Havrøy and Gunnar Flagstad’s duo partnership dates all the way back to the early 1990’s, when, as young music students at the Norwegian Academy of Music, they found each other through a common passion for the Lieder repertoire. It was not until almost twenty years later, however, in 2009 when Frank and Gunnar were challenged by the contemporary music festival ILIOS (Harstad, Norway) to create a “modern Liederabend for a modern audience”, that the duo project frankågunnar saw light.

The ILIOS commission marked the start of an extremely stimulating musical side project for Frank and Gunnar, a laboratory where the Lieder tradition as a whole was put under the microscope and viewed from new and different angles. This resulted in a large amount of creative musical output, ranging from Trond Reinholdsen’s original composition Emotion catalogue - 18 songs for baritone, piano and overhead projector on texts by Olav Aasmundson Vinje to Lars Petter Hagen’s arrangement for saxophone and pan pipes of Cyndi Lauper’s Time after time (not to mention Trond Lindheim’s totally crazy “tone poem” En lire-, en lireLire-, og en lireLireLIRE-kassemann, based on Schubert’s famous last song from Winterreise).

Over the last years frankågunnar have focused mainly on Franz Schubert. In addition to asking some of their composer friends to write recompositions of their favourite Schubert songs, Frank and Gunnar have made their own explorations into the score of Schubert’s Schwanengesang, creating their personal frankågunnar versions of Schubert’s iconic songs. In Sep 2021 this version of Schwanengesang was released on the Norwegian classical label SIMAX.

When not appearing together as frankågunnar, Frank Havrøy and Gunnar Flagstad both work as associate professors at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. They are also busy freelance artists, each involved in a large number of musical ventures: Frank as a singer, actor, writer, composer and a long-time member of the vocal ensemble Nordic Voices; Gunnar as a passionate and versatile pianist and chamber musician, regularly performing with leading Norwegian musicians at major festivals and concert venues in Norway and abroad.



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