Haltli started to play the accordion at the age of seven and over the following few years he won several national competitions and scholarships. He was awarded first prize in Norwegian TV's Talentiaden 1991.
He was awarded the Young Soloist of the Year prize 2001 by the Norwegian Concert Institute at the Bergen International Festival 2000, as well as second prize in the prestigious International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition in the Netherlands.
His debut album Looking on Darkness (ECM Records) received a Spellemannprisen (a Norwegian Grammy) for the best contemporary music album. He has also received the French Prix Gus Viseur in 2004 for the same album. His next album (ECM, 2007) featured his own interpretations of Norwegian folk. He was joined by Arve Henriksen, Garth Knox and Maja Ratkje on this album.
Frode currently (2012) lives in Svartskog, close to Oslo but frequently tours abroad, in Europe, Russia, America and Asia. He also teaches accordion at The Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. He has performed as a soloist with major orchestras around the world and is actively working with chamber music—the trio POING taking up much of his time currently. The trio, with Rolf-Erik Nystrøm on the saxophone and Håkon Thelin on the double bass, mainly performs contemporary music.
He also often plays with Trygve Seim (with whom he released the CD 'Yeraz' on ECM in 2008), the Norwegian folk group Rusk, with singer Unni Løvlid and fiddler Vegar Vårdal, as well as in a duo with fiddler Gjermund Larsen.
- Frode Haltli: Looking on Darkness (ECM New Series, 2002)
- Frode Haltli: Passing images (ECM, 2007)
- Frode Haltli: Arne Nordheim Complete Accordion Works (Simax Classics, 2012)
- Trygve Seim/Frode Haltli: Yeraz (ECM, 2008)
- POING: Giants of Jazz (LLRR, 2003)
- POING: Planet POING (Jazzaway, 2005)
- Maja S.K. Ratkje: River Mouth Echoes (Tzadik, 2008) (POING: essential extensions)
- POING+Maja Ratkje: Wach auf! (Øra Fonogram, 2011)
- RUSK: RUSK (Heilo/Grappa, 2002)
- RUSK: RUSK II (Heilo/Grappa, 2006)