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An assembly ban has been imposed in Iceland due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and all concerts by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra are cancelled until April 13. Please note that ticket holders can exchange their tickets for other orchestra concerts later in the season. Should this not be feasible, the tickets can be refunded through the Harpa Ticket Office. See here.
This evening’s performance at the Iceland Symphony is somewhat out of the ordinary in that it shines the spotlight on the orchestra’s wind sections. Igor Stravinsky wrote his Symphonies of Wind Instruments in 1920, dedicating it to the memory of Debussy, whom he said had always been a true friend to him and his music. Kurt Weill’s Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra, one of his most interesting non-stage works, displays clearly the influence of jazz and the music of Stravinsky.
American violinist Erin Keefe is concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra and a winner of the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. Her interpretation of Weill’s concerto in Finland and the US has received outstanding reviews, and her performance of the piece — which has only once been programmed in Iceland — is something to look forward to.
Conductor Osmo Vänskä, the Iceland Symphony’s former Chief Conductor and currently its Honorary Conductor, is no stranger to Icelanders. He is also a magnificent clarinettist and has performed widely on his instrument. In the latter half of the concert, he takes a seat in the wind section in the performance of Mozart’s divine Serenade op. 10 for 13 winds and contrabass. Mozart’s genius seldom reached greater heights than in this work, whose slow movement will be familiar to many who saw the film Amadeus.
Igor Stravinsky Symphonies of Wind Instruments
Kurt Weill Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra
WA. Mozart Serenade no. 10, “Gran partita”