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The Iceland Symphony Youth Orchestra plays Shostakovitsj

Iceland Symphony Orchestra

Þessi viðburður er liðinn

The Iceland Symphony Youth Orchestra takes the stage for this concert, performing Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 5. Seldom has any composer had so much at stake as Dmitri Shostakovich at the Leningrad premiere of this work in 1937, one of the most appalling years of Stalin’s brutal regime. The music is fraught with dramatic tension, and the symphony is considered by many to be one of the most overpowering written in the 20th century. Rounding out the programme is a string piece by Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks, dedicated to his teacher, Arvo Pärt. The music is beguiling in its simplicity as it interweaves two basic ideas. It tells the story of a traveller who grows and develops over the course of his lift, with the accompaniment creating a theme of eternity that never changes and a star-studded sky lighting his way as he progresses.

Russian conductor Daniel Raiskin leads the ISYO, drawing on his extensive experience leading youth groups in ambitious projects. Raiskin conducted the ISYO’s breath-taking performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in autumn 2017 and now returns with another Russian masterpiece. In addition, he has conducted the Iceland Symphony three times, with outstanding results.

One of the most important roles of symphony orchestras the world over is to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with new generations of musicians. Each year since 2009, nearly 100 young people from music schools around Iceland have gathered together under the aegis of the Iceland Symphony to form the Iceland Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the results have been nothing short of splendid. The Iceland Symphony Youth Orchestra was awarded the Brightest Hope prize at the Icelandic Music Awards in 2017.