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Women of Note

Sunday Classics

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Finnish women were the first in the world to have their right to vote fully realised. Not long after both Iceland and Great Britain made steps towards allowing women to vote. Not all women were represented at first, but eventually, around 100 years ago, all women were able to have their voices heard. In spite of this great achievement, women are still under­represented in many fields, including in music. With this in mind, the ALDAtrio will present a concert of works by female 20th and 21st century composers from the UK, Iceland and Finland including works by Judith Weir and Kaija Saariaho. This programme will be performed by acclaimed musicians Helen Whitaker (flute), Matthildur Anna Gísladóttir (piano) and Guðný Jónasdóttir (cello). In this hour-long recital we want to champion more women’s voices, and show the wide range of sounds, colours and textures that the four composers chosen have explored. Centred around works for the flute, this varied programme will feature flute, alto flute, piccolo, cello and piano.

Helen Whitaker is a critically acclaimed flautist who enjoys an exciting and varied freelance career. Having won many awards and scholarships while studying for a Masters degree at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London, Helen divides her time between the UK and Iceland performing and recording. She is a featured flautist on many albums, and has given live broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, 4, 6 and FIP Pairs among others. Recent work includes performing contemporary classical repertoire with a range of ensembles including the Colin Currie Group, The New Music Players, the Orchestra of Sound and Light and Lontano, as well as collaborations with artists such as The Leisure Society, Ray Davies, Laura Marling and 5 Billion in Diamonds (Butch Vig). Helen co-directs and is principal flautist with ALDAorchestra, which she founded with composer/conductor Helgi Rafn Ingvarsson in 2016. For more information about Helen please see https://helen-whitaker.co.uk/

Matthildur Anna Gísladóttir graduated from her BA in soloist studies at the Iceland University of the Arts in 2007. Next she headed to London, where she finished a masters degree in accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music. In the year 2014 she graduated from the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a masters as a répétiteur. There she was awarded the James H. Geddes Répétiteur Price. She has performed in many opera productions, including with the Icelandic Opera, Kópavogur Opera days, British Youth Opera, Clonter Opera, Edinburgh Grand Opera, Lyric Opera Studio in Weimar, Scottish Opera, Royal Academy Opera, and Co­Opera Co in London. Matthildur is now an adjunct at the Iceland University of the Arts.

Guðný Jónasdóttir, cellist, graduated with a Masters soloist degree from the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2013 after having studied at the Iceland University of the Arts and the Musikhochschule Lübeck in Germany. Guðný has performed as a soloist with Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Iceland Youth Symphony, and recently as one of the soloists in Brahm’s Double Concerto alongside Eugene Lee and Southbank Sinfonia at St. Martin-in-the-fields, Trafalgar Square, London. Additionally, she has also performed as a tutti cellist with Philharmonisches Orchester Lübeck, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Southbank Sinfonia, Orchestra of St. Pauls and Royal National Scottish Orchestra.