From Iceland — Icelandic Classical Music Still On The Rise: Anna on NYTimes Best Of List - Again

Icelandic Classical Music Still On The Rise: Anna on NYTimes Best Of List – Again

Published December 12, 2019

Valur Grettisson
Photo by
Anna Maggý
Rut Sigurðardóttir
Hörður Sveinsson

The amazing Icelandic composer Anna Þorvaldsdóttir is again, the second year in a row, on the New York Times’ list of best classical tracks of 2019, with her dark and eerie symphony, Metacosmos, performed with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra – conducted by another rising star in the Icelandic classical music scene, Daníel Bjarnason.

Both have been on the cover of The Reykjavík Grapevine, so of course this no news to us, but we are glad that the world is starting to pay attention to the incredible and powerful classical scene that is happening in Iceland. Haukur Tómasson also gets a mention, as a second piano concerto, as well as Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson (another cover star of Reykjavík Grapevine).

New York Times wrote about the symphony:

“In this quartet of contemporary works, you’ll find Haukur Tomasson’s Second Piano Concerto (the best way to hear Vikingur Olafsson on an album this year). And it offers a recording, at last, of Ms. Thorvaldsdottir’s ‘Metacosmos’ (2017), which in its brief running time seems to ebb and flow on a cosmic scale.”

The rise of Icelandic classical music is without a doubt unique in the cultural history of Iceland, but Daníel Bjarnason won the Reumert awards in Denmark for his opera, Brother, last year, and Víkingur Heiðar has become nothing less than a superstar in the classical world. Anna has of course been nominated for a Grammy award as well as another composer, Hildur Guðnadóttir, who composed the scores for the blockbuster movie Joker and the hit HBO miniseries Chernobyl.

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