In November 2019, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra embarks on a concert tour of Germany and Austria. At the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the orchestra’s guest soloist will be Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson, the venue’s Artist-in-Residence for the 2019-2020 season, while in Salzburg the Orchestra will hold three concerts with Croatian horn virtuoso Radovan Vlatković. Other stops on the tour include additional appearances in Berlin and Munich. Beforehand, the Iceland Symphony will perform many of the works on the tour programmes in Eldborg hall.
It was a major event in Iceland when Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson premiered Daníel Bjarnason’s new piano concerto, Processions, at the 2009 Dark Music Days festival. “Concertgoers floated out of the hall with a new faith in the future,” wrote Guðrún Nordal about the concert in a recent book. Since then the concerto has been heard widely, to rave reviews from the international media.
Víkingur Heiðar is well established as one of Iceland’s foremost musicians on the world stage. His most recent CD, with works by Bach, universally lauded by critics, received BBC Music magazine’s Recording of the Year award, was selected as one of Gramophone’s recordings of the month, and was named The Sunday Times’ album of the week. Recent engagements include appearances with many of Europe and North America’s most respected orchestras — in such far-flung cities as Helsinki, Stockholm, and Los Angeles — and solo recitals in London and in New York’s Lincoln Center.
Sibelius’ masterful Symphony no. 5 is widely considered the best symphony he wrote. The composer himself thought he had seldom done better, and in a letter to a close friend he wrote: “God opens His door for a moment and His orchestra plays the Fifth Symphony.”
Edvard Grieg: Selections from Peer Gynt
Daníel Bjarnason: Processions, piano concerto
W. A. Mozart: Horn Concerto no. 3
Jean Sibelius: Symphony no. 5
Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson