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Reykjavik Classics presents Icelandic Music and Classical Masterpieces in Eldborg Harpa
Every Day at 12:30-13:00 June 23rd – August 11th and in Kaldalón hall August 12th-23rd 2019
Artistic Director dr. Nína Margrét Grímsdóttir
Iceland´s award-winning concert hall Harpa proudly presents Reykjavik Classics in Eldborg summer 2019. This unique concert series is a vital part of the vibrant scene of arts and culture in the Capital. Reykjavik Classics presents Icelandic music and classical masterpieces performed by artists of the highest caliber in “one of the ten best concert halls of the new millennium.” (Gramophone)
Reykjavik Classics begins on June 24th and runs until August 23rd with one concert every day, at 12:30-13:00. Each concert lasts for a total of 30 minutes without intermission. The program features beautiful music by Icelandic composers such as Sveinbjörnsson, Thoroddsen and Kaldalóns, Beethoven, Schubert, Bruch, Widor, Foote and Ravel. The performing artists are leading international soloists from the global stage of classical music.
Reykjavík Classics summer program 2019:
June 24 – June 30 Eldborg 12:30-13 “Sound the Trumpets” with trumpeters Jóhann Ingvi Stefánsson, Vilhjálmur Ingi Sigurðarson & Kristjón Daðason
July 1 – July 7 Eldborg 12:30-13 “French Flute & Harp Romanticism” with Melkorka Ólafsdóttir, flute & Katie Buckley, harp
July 8 – July 14 Eldborg 12:30-13 “The Icelandic Art Song” with Egill Árni Pálsson, tenor & Nína Margrét Grímsdóttir, piano
July 15 – July 21 Eldborg 12:30-13 “Mozart Piano Quintet K452” with the Kordo String Quartet – Vera Panitch, violin, Joaquín Páll Palomares, violin, Þórarinn Már Baldursson, viola & Hrafnkell Orri Egilsson, cello
July 22 – July 28 Eldborg 12:30-13 “Beloved Clara Schumann & Fanny Mendelssohn Lieder” with Þóra Einarsdóttir, soprano & Nína Margrét Grímsdóttir, piano
July 29 – August 4 Eldborg 12:30-13 “Great Guitar Solos” with Svanur Vilbergsson, guitar
August 5 – August 9 Eldborg 12:30-13 “Masterworks of the Piano” with Daumants Liepins (Liepiņš), piano
August 10 Eldborg 12:30-13 “Virtuoso Violin Duos” with Joaquín Páll Palomares, violin & Vera Panitch, violin
August 11 Eldborg 12:30-13 “Masterworks of the Piano” with Daumants Liepins (Liepiņš), piano
August 12 – August 18 Eldborg 12:30-13 “Virtuoso Violin Duos” with Joaquín Páll Palomares, violin & Vera Panitch, violin
August 19 – August 23 Kaldalón 12:30-13 “Schubert Arpeggione” with Sigurgeir Agnarsson, cello & Nína Margrét Grímsdóttir, piano
The performers of Reykjavík Classics 2019:
“Sound the Trumpets” June 24 – June 30 2019
Jóhann Ingvi Stefánsson is born in Selfoss where he began his music studies. He graduated in 1992 from the Reykjavík College of Music pedagogical department of brass and woodwinds. He has concertized widely as soloist with orchestras and chamber groups. This includes the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the North Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the Iceland Amateur Symphony Orchestra, the Icelandic Opera, the CAPUT ensemble, the National Theatre, the Reykjavík Big Band and the Suðurland Big Band. Jóhann is Assistant Director of the Árnes Music School.
Vilhjálmur Ingi Sigurðarson graduated with a Bachelors degree in 2005 from the Norwegian College of Music. He graduated with a Master´s degree in performance in 2008 from the Sibelius Academy of Music. Vilhjálmur has received honors and performed widely as soloist and with orchestras and chamber groups in Iceland and abroad. This includes the Sibelius Academy Orchestra, the Helsinki Opera Orchestra, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the North Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the Icelandic Opera, the Ísafold Chamber Orchestra and the Hexagon Brass Ensemble.
Kristjón Daðason was born in Stykkishólmur in West-Iceland and began his music studies there. He graduated from Det Jyske Musikkonservatorium in Denmark 2013 with a masters degree in trumpet performance where his main teacher was Kristian Steenstrup. Kristjón has performed with many symphony orchestras and chamber groups in Denmark, f.i. Aarhus Symfoniorkester, Aarhus Sinfonietta, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra as well as many amateur orchestras around Denmark.
“French Flute & Harp Romanticism” July 1 – July 7 2019
A finalist at the Carl Nielsen Flute Competition in 2010, Melkorka Ólafsdóttir studied in the Netherlands, London and Paris. Melkorka has played with various internationally known ensembles and orchestras and regularly performs with the Icelandic Opera Orchestra and the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. Following two years in the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, Japan, Melkorka played a trial as principal flute of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Melkorka has performed solo and chamber music around Europe, in Japan and in the USA. She released the Telemann Solo Fantasias on CD and holds an MA in creative writing, publishing poetry with her all-female collective Impostor Poets. She is currently working with internationally known singer, Björk, touring with the 7 flute ensemble, viibra.
Katie Buckley began studying harp at the age of 8 in Atlanta, Georgia and continued her studies in San Francisco with former San Francisco Symphony and Opera harpist Ann Adams. Katie received her Bachelor of Music degree and Master of Music degree at Eastman School of Music with Kathleen Bride. In 2006, she became principal harpist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Katie is a founding member of the harp and percussion ensemble Duo Harpverk. She has recorded and toured with Björk and has also been on albums by Icelandic composers Daníel Bjarnason and Anna Þorvaldsdóttir.
“The Icelandic Art Song” July 8 – July 14 2019
Tenor Egill Árni Pálsson pursued advanced studies in Germany in 2008 where he also began a successful singing career with a focus on the opera and lieder. He participated in large events such as the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg and Oper Schloss Laubach. Then followed Classic Open Air in Berlin togeather with soprano Lucia Aliberti, Gala Concert at Mercedes World in Berlin, Das Lied von der Erde in Frankfurt (Oder) and Berlin and a concertant performance of Das Liebesverbot by Wagner in Theater Braunschweig. In 2010 he became a fixed member of the ensemble of the Gerhart-Hauptmann Theater in Görlitz, where he sang over 20 roles. Amongst roles performed are: Cavaradossi (Tosca), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Caramello og Herzog (Eine Nacht in Venedig), Rodolfo (La Boheme), Luzio (Das Liebesverbot), Bobby (Besuch der Alten Dame), Duka di Mantua (Rigoletto), Governor/Vanderdendur/Prince Ragotski (Candide), Alfred (Die Fledermaus), Adam (Der Vogelhändler) to name a few. In 2016 Egill released a CD of Icelandic songs and duets titled “Reverie”.
Dr. Nína Margrét Grímsdóttir is the founder and Artistic director of Reykjavik Classics in Harpa. Nína Margrét is one of Iceland´s most established classical performers and recording artist. She has performed in Europe, USA, Canada, Japan and China, including concertos with the Royal Chamber Orchestra in Tokyo, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra. She has recorded five CDs for Naxos, BIS, Acte Préalable and Skref. Her CD´s and concerts have received excellent reviews in international publications such as Gramophone Awards Issue, BBC Music Magazine, Glasgow Herald, Crescendo-Magazine, Xi´an Evening News and High Fidelity. She holds a D.M.A. degree from the City University of New York She holds a D.M.A. performance degree from the City University of New York as well as degrees and diplomas from City University of London, the Mannes College of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Reykjavík College of Music. Her CD´s and published book on the piano works of Páll Ísólfsson (LAP) are available on Amazon.com. Her grants and honors include the British Council, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, the Iceland Ministry of Culture and Education and an entry in the 2003 edition of “Contemporary Icelanders – the life and work of well-known people” (Vaka-Helgafell). Nína Margrét is Chair of the Advanced studies department at Sigursveins School of Music.
“Mozart Piano Quintet K452” July 15 – July 21 2019
The recently founded Kordo String Quartet has already won great acclaim for performances of Webern´s Six Bagatelles Op. 9 and string quartets by Mozart and Borodin – “magnificient sound, amazing ensemble and emotional interpretation – the Kordo String Quartet is one of the best chamber group in Iceland!” Members of the Kordo String Quartet are violinists Vera Panitch and Joaquin Páll Palomares, violist Þórarinn Már Baldursson and cellist Hrafnkell Orri Egilsson. Vera Panitch was born 1993 in Copenhagen and started playing the violin with Arkadi Zelianodjevo, and in 2005 continued with Yuriy Mikhlin in Seattle. At 15 she was admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Music with the violinist and pedagogue Alexandre Zapolski and received her Master’s degree and Post Graduate Diploma from there with the highest grade. Vera has won competitions and received several scholarships and grants. Besides performing as a soloist, Vera is also a great chamber musician and performes regularly with different Danish orchestras. Vera is currently 2nd Concertmaster in the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Considered as one of the main violinist of his generation in his countries, Iceland and Spain, Joaquín Páll Palomares is today concertmaster of 2nd violins in the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. He has performed as soloist many of the big concertos with different orchestras, both nationally and internationally, such as Sibelius and Tchaikovsky´s violin concertos with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Brahms with Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven with Torrevieja Symphony Orchestra and Vivaldi´s Four Seasons with Orchestra Femminile Italiana. Violist Þórarinn Baldursson has been a member of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra for many years as well as a leading performer of many chamber groups such as Caput, Elektra, Kúbus and the Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra. Cellist Hrafnkell Orri Egilsson has been a member of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra since 2002. He was a member of the Lübeck Philharmony Orchestra 2000-2001 and has performed widely with many chamber groups including the Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra.
“Beloved Clara Schumann & Fanny Mendelssohn Lieder” July 22 – July 28 2019
Soprano Þóra Einarsdóttir is one of the most prominent singer in Iceland who has performed at the Icelandic Opera, Malmo Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, English National Opera, Opera North, Opera Factory, in Mannheim, Nürnberg, Karlsruhe, Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, Berlin, Prag and Salzburg. A member of the ensemble at Hessische Staatstheater Wiesbaden from 2001-2008. Þóra has performed in concerts with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Bach Collegium München, Rundfunk–Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Philharmonia Orchestra and at the Philharmonie am Gasteig in Munich, London’s Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Barbican Center as well as the Kennedy Center in Washington and the Weil Recital Hall in New York.
“Great Guitar Solos” July 29 – Aug 4 2019
Svanur Vilbergsson is one of the most prominent guitarists of the younger generation. He furthered his music studies at the King Edward VI Community College in Totnes and graduated in 2001 from the departments of music and biology. Subsequently he went to Spain studying at the Escola Luther. In 2002 Svanur began studies with Carlo Marchione at the Maastricht Academy of Music and graduated with a Bachelor´s degree in 2006. The same year he commenced studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague with Enno Voorhorst graduating with a Master´s degree in 2008. Svanur has concertized in the US, Netherlands, Spain, UK, Belgium and in Ireland. He performs regularly in the Casa Eulalia series in Mallorca and the contemporary music festival Klanken in Maastricht. Recent concert projects have included Inishowen International Guitar Festival in Ireland, Semersooq guitarfestival in Greenland and Sommer melbu festival in Norway. He was chosen on behalf of Iceland to participat in the Norwegian-Icelandic culture project “Gulfstream”. His first CD is entitled “Four Works” and in 2014 he premiered “Halcyon Days” by Oliver Kentish in Harpa.
“Masterworks of the Piano” Aug 5 – Aug 9 & Aug 11 2019
Daumants Liepins (Liepiņš) – a laureate of many international piano competitions, is one of the most interesting pianists of his generation. In September 2018 he became laureate of George Enescu International piano competition where he won the 2nd prize and in November was in Top 6 of Geneva Piano Competition receiving Georges Leibenson special jury prize. He was also a 1st prize winner in the 8th Nordic Piano Competition in 2017, 3rd prize winner in The Fifth RNCM James Mottram International Piano Competition in Manchester in 2016, UK (WFIMC) and the 4th prize winner and the recipient of the special Prize for Artistry at Tbilisi International Piano Competition in 2017, Georgia (WFIMC). Besides regular solo performances in different parts of the world, Daumants has performed with several symphony orchestras, including Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony orchestra, Romanian National Symphony Orchestra, Georgian National Symphony Orchestra, Kaunas Symphony orchestra. He has established himself already as one of the core musicians in his country – in 2017 Daumants won the Grand Prix of the Lielā Mūzikas Balva (Latvian National Grand Music Award) in the Young Artist of the Year category, which is the most prestigious award for a classical musician in Latvia.
“Virtuoso Violin Duos” Aug 10 & Aug 12 – Aug 18 2019
Considered as one of the main violinist of his generation in his countries, Iceland and Spain, Joaquín Páll Palomares is today concertmaster of 2nd violins in the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. He has performed as soloist many of the big concertos with different orchestras, both nationally and internationally, such as Sibelius and Tchaikovsky´s violin concertos with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Brahms with Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven with Torrevieja Symphony Orchestra and Vivaldi´s Four Seasons with Orchestra Femminile Italiana. He is a very active chamber musician as well and has performed in countries such as Germany, England, Italy, France, Faroe Island, Denmark, Holland and USA.
Joaquín Páll plays on a Gabriel Lemböck violin, made in Vienna ca.1850.
Vera Panitch was born 1993 in Copenhagen and started playing the violin with Arkadi Zelianodjevo, and in 2005 continued with Yuriy Mikhlin in Seattle. At 15 she was admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Music with the violinist and pedagogue Alexandre Zapolski and received her Master’s degree and Post Graduate Diploma from there with the highest grade. Vera has won competitions and received several scholarships and grants. Besides performing as a soloist, Vera is also a great chamber musician and performes regularly with different Danish orchestras. Vera is currently 2nd Concertmaster in the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
“Schubert Arpeggione” Aug 19 – Aug 23 2019
Sigurgeir Agnarsson is principal cellist of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Agnarsson graduated from the Reykjavik College of Music in 1995 and continued his studies at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston with David Wells and Laurence Lesser and at the Hochschule für Musik in Düsseldorf with Prof. Johannes Goritzki. Mr. Agnarsson is head of the string department at the Reykjavik College of Music. He has appeared as a soloist with ensembles such as the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Bochumer Symphoniker and the Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra and also appears regularly as a chamber musician and recitalist in Iceland and abroad. He has recorded for the Icelandic Broadcasting Service and the Naxos label. Sigurgeir is one of the founders of the Harpa International Music Academy.
Reykjavik Classics in Harpa Reviews on TripAdvisor 2016-2018
“Concert at Harpa – a must”
“I thoroughly enjoyed a top notch 30 minutes lunch-time concert “Sound the Trumpets” in the Reykjavik Classics Series. Great programme including well known classics by Bach and Handel as well as an Icelandic chant and an Icelandic folk song. Meeting the performers and the Artistic director afterwards made it all the more special. Highly recommended”
“This concert was amazing, with great musicians and in a wonderful concert hall. It only took 30 minutes which was a perfect length.”
“We attended a 12:30 classical performance in the main hall that was excellent – A must visit in Reykjavik.”
“Great experience! The hall is stunning, the accoustics great and the musicians were top notch. Well worth the money.”
“We attended a Reykjavik Classics concert (half hour string quartet performance) – the concert was lovely and highlighted the great acoustics and beautiful design of the Eldborg Auditorium.”
“I attended a lovely concert of the piano and string version of Beethoven´s Op. 16 chamber work while visiting Reykjavik recently. The performance was energetic and assured with many delights, especially in the lyrical slow movement. The concert was a highlight of our visit to Iceland which left a very favorable impression of the country!”
“Great Concert in a Gorgeous Hall”
“Yesterday, we visited this venue and it is just beautiful. We listened to two flutists play and the accoustics were perfect.”
“We saw a classical music performance (trio) and it was absolutely worth the time and cost. Three young classical musicians played for 30 minutes and it was simply beautiful; one set was Schubert and the second an Icelandic composer, Thoroddsen. The music hall is gorgeous and the seats comfortable.”
“The mid day concert was entertaining, with the violinist explaining the music with included an Icelandic piece.”
“We saw an afternoon concert. It was wonderful to sit and enjoy this male soloist guitarist.”
“An afternoon concert was lovely.”
“Quality performances – definitely check it out!”
“The acoustics are clear and crisp”
“Do the lunch time concert”