Iceland Symphony Orchestra Nominated For Grammy

Iceland Symphony Orchestra in Eldborg Hall

The Iceland Symphony Orchestra’s album Concurrence is nominated for a Grammy award in the category Best Orchestral Performance. IN the album, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Daníel Bjarnason, performs new pieces by four Icelandic Composers, Anna Þorvaldsdóttir, Haukur Tómasson, María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir and Páll Ragnar Pálsson. Soloists are cellist Sæunn Þorsteinsdóttir and pianist Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson. The album is the second of three in the collaboration of the orchestra and the US record label Sono Luminus, where the orchestra will perform 14 new Icelandic orchestral pieces in total, conducted by Daníel. The final addition to the series, Occurrence, is expected in January 2021.

Read more on the birth of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra

The New York Times chose Concurrence as one of its 25 best Classical Music Tracks of 2019 and NPR chose it as one of its 10 classical albums to usher in the next decade. Five albums are nominated for a Grammy in this category. Other nominees include the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Fransisco Symphony.

The Iceland Symphony Orchestra has been nominated for a Grammy once before, in 2009 in the same category.

Hildur Guðnadóttir and Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson Honored at Opus Klassik

Hildur Guðnadóttir.

Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir and pianist Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson are both winners of the Opus Klassik, a new German prize for classical music, RÚV reports. Hildur won the Most Innovative Concert of the Year for her live performance of music composed for the TV show Chernobyl, and Víkingur won Best Solo Pianist for his album interpreting works by French composers Debussy and Rameau.

Over the last year, Hildur has received a stunning number of awards and commendations for her compositions for both Chernobyl and the film Joker, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Original Score (Joker), a Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media (Chernobyl), and a World Soundtrack Award for Television Composer of the Year (Chernobyl).

Víkingur has had a similarly lauded rise to prominance in recent years, having been dubbed ‘Iceland’s Glenn Gould’ by The New York Times, named Gramophone magazine’s artist of the year in 2019, and won BBC Music Magazine’s Recording of the Year award in 2019 for his album Johann Sebastian Bach. He also won an Opus Klassik award for Best Piano Album of the Year last year.

Formerly the Echo Awards, the Opus Klassik has been awarded for two years and is meant to raise the profile of classical music composition and performance. The award is given in 25 categories.

Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson wins Gramophone Artist of the Year Award

Icelandic pianist Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson won the coveted Artist of the Year award at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2019 last night, RÚV reports.

Gramophone is a UK based classical music publication and their awards have been referred to as the ‘Oscars of classical music’. Víkingur accepted the prestigious prize in person during the awards ceremony, which took place at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in central London. The publication described Víkingur as having the gift of “making something familiar feel entirely his own, drawing you into a world where no other interpretation seems possible”.

Víkingur is a rising star in the classical music world. In 2017, he signed with Deutsche Grammophon and has put out a few well received releases on the classical label, most notably two albums featuring his renditions of works by Philip Glass and Johann Sebastian Bach, respectively. Earlier this year he won the Album of the Year award and Instrumental Album of the Year award at the BBC Music Magazine awards, as well as the Opus Klassik award for best piano album, all for his album of Bach renditions.

 

Víkingur Wins Top BBC Music Prize

Pianist Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson.

Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson snagged the top prize at this year’s BBC Music Magazine Awards, winning Recording of the Year for his album Johann Sebastian Bach. The album was also awarded Instrumental Recording of the Year at the prestigious awards.

“Víkingur Ólafsson’s beautifully crafted Bach programme is a balm for the ears,” wrote the awards jury. “His mix of original keyboard works and arrangements by a host of pianist-composers is played with such joy – his articulation is pin-sharp, his dynamic and tonal control constant delights. If ever there was an album to demonstrate Bach’s timelessness, this is it.”

“I am very touched to win this important award and to know that people enjoy listening to it,” says Ólafsson. “Playing and recording Bach is in many ways the most personal thing one can do in music, and I am very grateful for the incredibly kind and generous reactions.”

The album, Víkingur’s second with Deutsche Grammophon, has received accolades since its release in September 2018. Last December, Víkingur’s interpretation of Bach’s Fugue in A minor was named one of the top 25 classical music tracks of the year by the New York Times.

Víkingur Ólafsson Nominated for BBC Music Magazine Award

Pianist Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson.

Icelandic pianist Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson has been nominated for the 2019 BBC Music Magazine Awards. RÚV reported first.

Víkingur’s album Johann Sebastian Bach has been nominated in the instrumental music category of the awards. The album has enjoyed a warm reception since its release last year, charting on NPR’s list of the top 50 albums of 2018, where Víkigur’s interpretations were praised as “personal, poetic, and precise.” One track on the recording made it on the New York Times’ list of Top 25 Classical Music Tracks of 2018, where Joshua Barone hailed Víkingur as “a master of finding and exploiting unexpected pockets of musicality.”

The BBC Music Magazine Awards nominees are selected from among some 200 albums that the magazine has awarded five stars over the preceding 12 months. The winners are decided by public vote, which is open to all until February 19.