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For the past four years, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra has participated in Yrkja, a collaborative project sponsored by the Iceland Symphony, the Icelandic Music Information Centre, and various musical groups and institutions, with the aim of giving budding composers the opportunity to get to know the symphony orchestra from close up. This year marks the fifth Yrkja project. Participants are selected by a five-member adjudication panel comprising composers and orchestra members. This year Eygló Höskuldsdóttir Viborg and Sigurður Árni Jónsson were chosen. A nine-month collaboration with the Iceland Symphony gives the two young composers the chance to develop their orchestral composition skills. The fruits of their endeavours are premiered at this noontime concert in Norðurljós hall.
Sigurður Árni Jónsson, also an educated guitarist, studied composition at the Iceland Academy of the Arts and received a master’s degree from the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg. His works have been programmed throughout the Nordic countries, including performances by the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, the Esbjerg Ensemble in Denmark, and the Caput Ensemble. His music was also performed at the Dark Music Days and Young Nordic Music festivals in 2017.
Eygló Höskuldsdóttir Viborg, a 2017 graduate of Berklee College of Music, is currently a master’s student in composition at New York University under the tutelage of Julia Wolfe. Her music has been performed in Boston and New York by groups such as the JACK Quartet and the Quince Ensemble. For several years she sang with Graduale Nobili, which participated in Björk Guðmundsdóttir’s Biophilia project and appeared with her in concert all over the world.
Yrkja’s aim is to prepare composers to work in a professional environment with orchestras, festivals, and other artistic institutions. Iceland Symphony’s Composer-in-Residence Anna Thorvaldsdottir leads the workshop, and assistant conductor Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason also works closely with the young composers.
The event is free and open to the public.
Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason
Eygló Höskuldsdóttir Viborg: Lo and Behold
Sigurður Árni Jónsson: Illusion of Explanatory Depth