Jens Franke, guitarist and theorbo player, is known chiefly for his pioneering work as a period guitar performer. He records for Naxos.
Born into a German family of eminent musical heritage, his international concert work, recordings and broadcasts are characterised by a profound understanding of early 19th century style, his refined, aristocratic sound spotlighting the lyricism and intimacy of the guitar.
His recording credits include a collection of Schubert songs with Anna Huntley featuring period guitar accompaniments recorded at the Wigmore Hall (Quartz). An album of late Viennese Biedermeier pieces by Johann Kaspar Mertz (Stone Records). And for Naxos, together with his Norwegian guitar duo partner Jørgen Skogmo, Antoine de Lhoyer’s integral chamber music for guitar trio and quartet, the complete guitar duets of José Ferrer, and a collection of guitar duos by Filippo Gragnani.
Jens’s musical partnership with Jørgen Skogmo - the period instrument guitar duo Deux Amis - has received much critical acclaim and has been described as “a discerning new generation duo”. In addition to their concert work, their recordings have been broadcast throughout Europe including by the BBC and Bayerischer Rundfunk.
As a continuo-player, Jens has appeared with ensembles such as the Scottish Chamber Orchestra ('Maxim's Baroque Inspirations') and Ensemble 415.
While specialising in Baroque, Classical and early Romantic repertory, Jens is an artist of nevertheless eclectic taste, equally at home in the concert room, theatre or pit. He has toured as an orchestral guitarist for English National Ballet and, in student days, with the European Union Youth Orchestra under Bernard Haitink, playing venues such as the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the Konzerthaus, Berlin, and the Casa de Música, Porto.
Jens studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and King’s College, London.