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Brahms and Tortelier – Iceland Symphony Orchestra

Two outstanding Icelandic string players join forces for this concert. Ari Þór Vilhjálmsson has been praised widely for his playing and is now Principal Second Violin with the Helsinki Philharmonic, and Sigurgeir Agnarsson is Principal Cellist with the Iceland Symphony. Together they bring us Brahms’ impassioned Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, the composer’s last orchestral work. The Academic Festival Overture is a jolly, entertaining piece that Brahms wrote as a token of thanks after having received an honorary doctorate from a German university. The work closes with the student anthem Gaudeamus igitur, a fitting tribute to the graduation season.

Louise Farrenc was an extraordinary nineteenth-century pianist who served for more than three decades as a professor of piano at the Paris Conservatory. She composed not only a large number of piano and chamber works, but also three exceptionally well crafted Romantic symphonies. Farrenc’s hitherto forgotten compositions have been resurrected in recent years and show clearly that she deserves a prominent role in music history. The programme ends on a Spanish note, with Chabrier’s orchestral rhapsody España, with its lively Spanish dances with memorable dramatic gestures.

Pre-concert presentation in Hörpuhornið » 16 May 18:00