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The Los Angeles Philharmonic has announced additional programming for the “Reykjavík Festival” to be held in April at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Icelandic composer Daníel Bjarnason and LA Phil conductor laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen will curate the event.
The festival is an exploration of the eclectic Icelandic music scene, highlighting the creativity thriving in Reykjavík and covering a wide spectrum of music styles from chamber, choral and symphonic to pop music. For the first time, Sigur Rós will perform songs from their albums with an orchestra, marking their LA Phil and Walt Disney Concert Hall debuts. The performances will include a blend of new and old music without an accompanying orchestra along with existing material with an orchestra. Each of the Walt Disney Concert Hall presentations will be prefaced by different symphonic and choral programs.
Schola Cantorum Reykjavík will also participate in the concerts. Formed in 1996, the group has played an important role in the Icelandic music scene with a repertoire that consists mainly of renaissance, baroque and contemporary music including numerous premiere performances of works by Icelandic contemporary composers. They are particularly known for presentations of Icelandic and Nordic a capella music.
Salonen will lead the orchestra in the world premiere of a new violin concerto from Bjarnason performed by Pekka Kuusisto. The orchestra will also present the U.S. premiere of an LA Phil co-commission from Haukur Tómasson, his piano concerto with Icelandic soloist Vikingur Ólafsson, and the U.S. premiere of Hlynur Aðils Vilmarsson’s “BD.” The programs will also include works from Anna Thorvaldsdottir, María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir and Jón Leifs, including Leif’s seldom performed “Organ Concerto” with soloist James McVinnie.
Opening the evenings with chamber music performances are Nordic Affect, a group of period instrument musicians known for viewing musical forms from a different perspective. Bjarnason will also conduct a “Green Umbrella” program of contemporary material with the LA Phil New Music Group, including the world premiere of a work for chamber orchestra and chorus and the U.S. premiere of Pall Ragnar Pálsson’s work for cello and chamber orchestra with soloist Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir.
The final concert of the festival features composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, whose background is in Iceland’s alternative music scene. He is also well-known for his film music, including the Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning score for James Marsh’s “The Theory of Everything.” Jóhannsson will be joined by the American Contemporary Music Ensemble.
Additional festival performances will be announced at a future date. For information, visit www.laphil.com.
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