x checkmark sr arrow-right brouchure calendar check clock close compass conference download easel epal facebook food-and-shopping food fullscreen grid halls harpa-icon harpa sinfo instagram leaf like listi magnify mail menu minify minus move music opera pictures play plus qoute recording search select-alt select shopping simple-arrow-left simple-arrow-right sitemap telephone ticket twitter youtube spotify snapchat linkedin youtube

Favourite Classics: Birthday Celebration

Iceland Symphony Orchestra

This event has passed

A varied and exciting programme revisiting important moments in the musical history of the National Broadcasting Service and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra

The year 2020 marks the 70th anniversary of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra’s first concert and the 90th anniversary of the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RÚV). These two institutions have played key roles in Iceland’s cultural life, and their paths have crossed in a variety of ways through the years. Classical music has always been a prominent feature of the Broadcasting Service’s programming; indeed, RÚV has recorded and broadcast nearly all of the orchestra’s concerts.

This concert affords us a backward glance at the history of the Iceland Symphony and RÚV, in words and music. The programme features works that were often heard on the radio during RÚV’s early years, as well as compositions by key members of RÚV’s Music Department during that period: Þórarinn Guðmundsson, Jón Þórarinsson, and Emil Thoroddsen. Featured as well are works in the orchestra’s repertoire during the first years and decades of its operation, such as Victor Urbancic’s Icelandic-language version of JS Bach’s St. John Passion, which included texts from Hallgrímur Pétursson’s Hymns of the Passion, resulting in a performance that was exceedingly well received at the time.

The concert will be televised live by RÚV and streamed online worldwide here.

Further information on the concert can be found on the Iceland Symphony Orchestra website.


Music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Luigi Boccherini, Aram Khachaturian, Igor Stravinsky, Emil Thoroddsen, Ingibjörg Þorbergs, Jón Þórarinsson, and others.

Daníel Bjarnason

Dísella Lárusdóttir
Elmar Gilbertsson
Sigríður Thorlacius
Emilíana Torrini
Sigurður Guðmundsson

Motet Choir of Hallgrímskirkja

Guðni Tómasson and Halla Oddný Magnúsdóttir