Iceland’s most pleasant and prodigious pianist—and former Grapevine cover star—Víkingur Ólafsson was named Artist Of The Year at the 2019 Gramophone Classical Music Awards. For those not in the know, this is a big deal. Previous winners of the award include heavyweights like violinist Hilary Hahn and singer Cecilia Bartoli. In their decision, Gramophone said that Víkingur had the gift of, “making something familiar feel entirely his own, drawing you into a world where no other interpretation seems possible.” We agree, Gramophone, and would point those unfamiliar with Víkingur to his stellar Bach reworks and everything by Philip Glass that he’s ever touched.
RÚV has allegedly received 157 entries for this year’s Söngvakeppnin, the contest which determines Iceland’s Eurovision act. This is 25 more songs than were submitted last year, the 2020 committee explains, which they attribute to the rise of interest in the competition due to Hatari’s performance. This year’s contest will consist of two semi-finals on February 8th and 15th and a finale on February 29th. The Grapevine cannot confirm or deny that we are one of those fated 157, we can only say that there have been a plethora of key changes heard in the offices below. Watch out, we’re giving ‘em the old razzle dazzle. Cue the jazz hands.
Austin, Texas’ famed South by Southwest (SXSW) just dropped their first 2020 artist list, which features 288 acts from around the world, including Iceland’s beloved goth-synth-witches—and former Grapevine cover stars—Kælan Mikla. The trio has been a long time favourite of the Reykjavík underground scene, and in recent years has been making quite the international splash after being taken under the wing of Robert Smith. Yes, the patron saint of goths, Robert Smith. If you won’t be in Austin in March 2020, you can catch the girls at Iceland Airwaves 2019 from November 6th to 9th. Can’t find a friend to accompany you? Do like Kælan Mikla and evoke a spooky spirit to dance with you.
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