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Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev

Iceland Symphony Orchestra

A passion-packed Tchaikovsky symphony and a new work by Anna Thorvaldsdottir.

Anna Thorvaldsdottir: Catamorphosis
Sergei Prokofiev: Violin Concerto no. 2
Pyotr Tchaikovsky: Symphony no. 5

Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason

Rannveig Marta Sarc

This programme showcases Russian and Icelandic masterpieces performed under the direction of Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason, who has garnered deserved attention and delighted audiences with his performances.

Rannveig Marta Sarc began studying the violin at age four and has recently completed her master’s studies at the Juilliard School in New York. Her outstanding performances have earned her both attention and awards, including the Icelandic Rotary Prize. In terms of her musical talent, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as Rannveig’s mother, Svava Bernharðsdóttir, is a violist with the Iceland Symphony. On this programme, Rannveig performs Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto no. 2, in which the composer puts the lyrical possibilities of the instrument on full display.

Anna Thorvaldsdottir ranks among the most respected composers of today. She writes works for some of the world’s most renowned orchestras and music festivals. The new work heard here was commissioned jointly by the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. It will be premiered in Berlin in February 2021, but Icelandic concertgoers have the
opportunity to hear one of Iceland’s most interesting composers here at home.

Rounding out the programme is Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 5, written at the height of his career, shortly before he began on his ballet Sleeping Beauty. “Tchaik Five” has entranced music lovers ever since it was first performed. Even Johannes Brahms, who usually pulled no punches in his criticism of Tchaikovsky’s music, had to agree, when he heard the composer conduct it in Hamburg in 1889, that it was an outstanding work.

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