Thursday 6 February 2020

The Iceland Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 70th birthday with its first UK tour

Iceland Symphony Orchestra
The Iceland Symphony Orchestra photographed at Harpa in Reykjavik
The Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Sinfóníuhljómsveit Íslands) is celebrating its 70th year and as part of the celebrations is giving its first UK tour, with music director Yan Pascal Tortelier, starting at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham (8 February 2020) and then Theatre Royal, Norwich (9 February), Cadogan Hall, London (10 February), Symphony Hall, Birmingham (11 February), St David’s Hall, Cardiff (13 February), The Anvil, Basingstoke (14 February), Leeds Town Hall (15 February) and the Usher Hall, Edinburgh (16 February).

The programme includes Aeriality by the Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdóttir, who is the orchestra's composer in residence. Aeriality was written for the orchestra and premiered by them in 2011. Thorvaldsdóttir will be giving pre-concert talks about the work in Nottingham, Norwich, Birmingham, Cardiff and Basingstoke, The rest of the orchestra's programme for the tour includes Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and Yeol Eum Sum, and Bizet's incidental music for L'Arlesienne, plus either Sibelius' Symphony No. 1 or music from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet.

The Iceland Symphony Orchestra is based at Harpa, the new concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland which was completed in 2011. The orchestra was founded in 1950, as a result of a desire for a fully professional orchestra in Iceland. At first the government funding for the ensemble was somewhat experimental and the group's first concert, in May 1950, is taken as the date of its founding. The orchestra made its UK debut five years ago at the BBC Proms, but this is the first time it has toured the UK.

Full details from the Iceland Symphony Orchestra's website.

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