A crowded hall gave the Iceland Symphony Orchestra a warm welcome at its first formal concert in Harpa, the new Icelandic concert and conference center on the Reykjavík seaside, on Wednesday evening.
Harpa’s glass façade was reflected in the Reykjavík harbor on the day of opening.
The center’s main concert hall, Eldborg, was crowded for the opening concert.
Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir (to the far left), President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson (fourth from the left), his wife Dorrit Moussaieff (to the far right) and the Slovenian presidential couple, President Danilo Türk (third from the left) and his wife Barbara Miklič Türk (between him and the PM) attended the opening concert.
“I thought the concert was wonderful,” commented concert guest Arnthór Helgason to Morgunbladid. He and his wife Elín Árnadóttir have been regulars at the Symphony Orchestra’s concerts for decades.
“It was the first time that I’ve heard the depth and clearness of the strings here at a concert in Iceland, except perhaps in Langholtskirkja church where strings, both bass and violins, sound quite good,” he described.
“But this was better than anything I’ve ever heard in my life. The feeling that grabbed me when the choir started to sing was most like—although not quite as much of a feeling of ecstasy—when I walked with my wife down the aisle more than 20 years ago,” he added.
More photos from the opening, all by Geir Ólafsson. Copyright: Iceland Review.
The construction of Harpa began four years ago and isn’t completely finished—yet the building is elegant with its glass façade and the largest concert hall, Eldborg, apparently served its purpose.
Sigurdur Ragnarsson, the managing director of the project on behalf of the contractor ÍAV, said 95 percent of the work is done and that the remaining five percent will be completed in June.
The Symphony Orchestra’s opening concerts are all sold out but on May 13-15 a special opening ceremony will be held in Harpa where all are welcome and a variety of performers will entertain visitors (click here to read the program).