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The Iceland Symphony Orchestra today welcomes Yan Pascal Tortelier as its new Chief Conductor. The French maestro, who was selected through the musicians’ committee unanimous decision, will conduct his first concert as chief conductor on September 8th.

Mr Tortelier’s collaboration with the orchestra dates back to 1998, when he led concerts during the Reykjavík Arts Festival. He renewed the relationship in 2012, returning to lead the orchestra in its striking, state-of-the-art, waterfront concert hall, Harpa. Since then, he has been a welcome, frequent guest at the podium.

On his appointment in October last year, Mr Tortelier said:

“I am delighted and moved to be asked to become the Chief Conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, and am flattered and happy to discover that the musicians committee voted unanimously to offer it to me. I enjoy a really good chemistry with the players and, of course, the new hall is a spectacular plus. I love making music with an orchestra that is so receptive. I have agreed to assume the position for three years and to become, dare I say, a figurehead for the orchestra at a thrilling time in its history. We will work together to continue the orchestra’s development during this period, as well as to achieve my very clear and specific mission: to reach out to audiences worldwide and share with them the extraordinary talent and musicianship of this orchestra.” 

He adds:

“It is a happy coincidence that the Iceland Symphony Orchestra has recorded for Chandos, as I have been a Chandos artist for 25 years now. I look forward to recording with them for the label, as well as undertaking international orchestral touring projects in the seasons ahead.”

Mr. Tortelier will be at the helm of the orchestra at 7 concert his first season in office. The 2016-17 season features a rich mix of repertoire will works by Ravel, Bizet, Elgar, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Sibelius and Stravinsky. He and the orchestra will also collaborate with outstanding Icelandic and international soloists including pianists Nikolai Lugansky and local star Vikingur Olafsson, violinists James Ehnes and Alina Ibragimova, and cellist Andreas Brantelid.