The Nordic Music Days have been organized since 1888 as one of the oldest festivals for contemporary classical music in the world. The festival is unique in the sense that it is organized by the composers themselves. Each year the national societies of composers organize the festival in turn on behalf of the Council of Nordic Composers.
I walk wide-eyed into Harpa, the steel honeycomb prism that anyone in Reykjavik recognizes as the most prestigious venue in Iceland. Coming from a Latin American country, everything from the design to the inner workings of a first class arts institution fascinates me.
Some of the pieces were just so beautiful! Harpist Katie Buckley and Frank Aarnink, the percussionist who plays that „stuss“, form the Duo Harpverk – were playing amazing throughout the concert.
Háttatal by Guðmundur managed to give me a glimpse of a world of music that, until now, has been unknown to me and for that, I will be eternally grateful.
Last Wednesday I went to a Nordic Music Days concert starring Siggi String Quartet. They had two guest performers in Fabian Svensson’s „Five Obsessive Movements“, playing a melodica and a toy piano. I had a little chat with the pianist, Erna Vala Arnardóttir.
Have you ever eaten pork while standing besides a pig? Have you ever talked about slaughtering pigs in front of pigs? No? Composer Mathias Monrad Møller was letting people try that at the Reykjavík zoo, it was strange but very, very interesting.
During the world premiere of Gunnar Karel Másson’s piece in Harpa, I wrote this poem.
Styrmir and Hugi discussing the concert of Siggi String Quartet, featuring Ásthildur Ákadóttir, melodica and Erna Vala Arnardóttir, toy piano
Iceland Symphony Orchestra in cooperation with Nordic Music Days 2022 performed five works at Harpa concert hall. Best thing: 25 students of Menntaskóli í tónlist, the Reykjavík Music School, were attending the concert first row. Here is what they wrote…
Gunnar Karel Masson is an Icelandic composer whose work will be performed by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra at the Nordic Music Days. His piece is called „Grisaille“ and Gunnar completed the writing of the piece in August, so the people at the concert will be attending the world premiere!
Marcella Lucatelli started as a classical singer and was interested in making her own staged works, really pushing the visuals and the moments as well as the aesthetics of it. Therefore, she became a composer accidentally.