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Skálholt Summer Concerts

July 1 - 10 2022

Upbeat: IUA

June 30 at 20:00

At the first concert of the festival we will premiere nine new works in collaboration with the Icelandic Academy of the Arts. Students from the Composition Department will present their work for voice and organ that were realised in workshops at Skálholt. The pieces will be performed by singers Hanna Dóra Sturludóttir and Bergþóra Linda Ægisdóttir and organist Jón Bjarnason.


Taffelpikene: ADA she who creates

July 1 at 20:00


In this concert Taffelpikene present brand new music from vibrant, exciting composers all based in Norway. The women, yes, they are all women, come from very different backgrounds, on the planet and musical genres. This has resulted in an eclectic and exhilarating mix, ranging from music by the exquisite harding fiddle player Guro Kvifte Nesheim to the fireworks of the jazz saxophonist Shannon Mowday from South Africa. Hanna Paulsberg, jazz saxophone, has written a three-movement masterpiece with a blues in the middle which will stick in your mind for a long time. The piece by jazz singer Karoline Wallace was premiered in Norway April 2022 and is the most recent music in the project. This concert will also include a piece by Summer Concert’s Composer in Residence, Hróðmar Ingi Sigurbjörnsson, that was composed for clarinet in 1984.


Family Concert: Nú angar og suðar í Skálholti

July 2 at 13:00


Nú angar og suðar í Skálholti is a music theatre show for families where the Norwegian wind trio Taffelpikene and actress Ingunn Lára Kristjánsdóttir tell the tale of the colourful character Sólsekvía. Sólsekvía comes to visit Skálholt Cathedral with her grandma in search of ice cream in the midst of summer. Suddenly, small, curious guests start to fill the church of life in hopes of getting to know Sólsekvía. The show takes inspiration from the nature and environment around Skálholt and is a part of the project Nytt i nord! where Nordic composers create new for children. The music is by Ásbjörg Jónsdóttir, Birgit Djupedal and Ragnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir. The text is by Ragnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir.


Sigurður Halldórsson: Hljómandi

July 2 at 15:00


The programme consists of pieces from the second half of the 20th century which complement the pieces from the baroque era by using similar composition methods and/or form. Here they are played on a baroque cello, using sheep gut strings tuned a semitone lower than modern pitch. The pieces are all centred around the note D. This tonal centre is particularly strong on the cello, as the two upper open strings are A and D that give an exeptionally strong resonance when played together. The open D string can also function as a drone while played simultaineously with either the string above or below.


Summer Concert Service: Sólrún Franzdóttir Wechner

July 3 at 11:00


In the mass, harpsichordist Sólrún Franzdóttir Wechner will play to honour Helga Ingólfsdóttir on what would have been her 80th birthday. Among other pieces, Wechner will perform Taramgambadi by Elín Gunnlaugsdóttir. The piece was especially composed for Helga Ingólfsdóttir when she was the Artistic Director of the Summer Concerts in Skálholt.


Sólrún F. Wechner, Anna Kaiser og Johannes Berger: The Art of Playing

July 3 at 14:00


„The intention of music is not only to please the ear, but to express sentiments, strike the imagination, affect the mind, and command the passion“ 


With these words Geminiani opens his 18th century „The Art of Playing on the Violin“, one of his most inventive, unique, and almost poetic treatises. A cosmopolite, virtuoso, composer, and pedagogue, Geminiani added study pieces on technique, and ornamentation for the player to train their imagination, expression, and musical skill; pieces of such excellence and finesse that they are meant for the stage instead of the study rooms!


Vinakvartettinn: Endurreisn og samtíminn

July 3 at 16:00

Vinakvartettinn is a newly formed classical quartet of four friends, tenor Eggert R. Kjartansson, soprano Jóna G. Kolbrúnardóttir, mezzo-soprano Kristín Sveinsdóttir and bass Unnsteinn Árnason, who studied together in Vienna. Due to Unnstein's absence, Pétur Oddbergur Heimisson will sing with the quartet on this occasion. The quartet will sing Icelandic contemporary works by Hróðmar Ingi Sigurbjörnsson and Helgi Rafn Ingvarsson, as well as hymns and folk songs arranged by Hildigunnur Rúnarsdóttir and Bára Grímsdóttir. On the program there will also be Madrigals from the Renaissance period. The music will be performed a cappella, so the audience can experience how these different voices intertwine in a warm harmony in Skálholtskirkja.


Family Event: SOUND HUNT with BRUM

July 6 at 17:00


SOUND HUNT with BRUM is a workshop where families are given the opportunity to compose music inspired by nature. Participants will be lead by a composer through a sound hunt around the nature in Skálholt where they will collect materials and sounds. Afterwards, they will use the materials to create graphic scores and instruments. This workshop was created by the theater group Trigger Warning for the piece BRUM at Plöntuhátíð 2020-2021. The workshop will be lead by composer Ragnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir.


Haderslev Domkirkes Pigekor: Nordic for Equal Voices

July 6 at 20:00


The Danish choir Haderslev Domkirkes Pigekor (Haderslev Cathedral Girl’s Choir) will bring nordic tones to Skálholt. Singing music by Icelandic, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian composers, they aim to demonstrate the impressive diversity in expression possible from a choir consisting exclusively of girls.

The main part of the program for the concert is music written within the last 30 years, however, they will also present a true gem from 1959, when singing Benjamin Britten's little masterpiece Missa brevis.


UMBRA Ensemble: Polorum Regina

July 7 at 20:00

Umbra Ensemble will perform sacred music from Iceland, Scandinavia and mainland Europe at Skálholt Cathedral. The program consists of psalms from the Icelandic manuscripts Hymnodia and Melodia, together with Danish and Norwegian songs from 13th and 15th century manuscripts. This exciting event will also feature music by Hildegard von Bingen and pilgrim songs from the 13th century Montserrat Monastery.

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Dúplum dúó: Hugleiðingar um jökulvatn og ást

July 10 at 14:00


Dúplum is inspired by modern poetry and contemporary performances of the art song form. Using only voice and viola, Björk Nielsdóttir and Þóra Margrét Sveinsdóttir evoke a simple, unpolished intimacy. The Iceland-born and Amsterdam-based band challenges the modern art song and how it's interpreted today as well as emphasizing the raw and intimate soundscape of voice and viola alone.


Amaconsort: An East Wind by the English Channel

July 9 at 14:00


The seventeenth century was a time of great turbulence in European music making. There was a change of aesthetic and clear national differences of style started to form in many places, before spreading around the continent like fashion waves. Here we present a few chosen delicacies out of the rich variety of music which sounded in England throughout the century, made by both countrymen and visitors.


Artist Talk: Berglind María Tómasdóttir

July 9 at 15:15


Berglind María Tómasdóttir, flutist and composer, tells us about her work where she frequently explores identity and archetypes, as well as music as a social phenomenon.


Berglind María Tómasdóttir and John McCowen: Ethereality

July 9 at 16:00

Flutist and composer, Berglind María Tómasdóttir and composer/clarinetist John McCowen join together in a performance. The concert features works from the album Ethereality that was chosen Album of the Year - Contemporary and Classical at the 2021 Icelandic Music Awards. Furthermore, the performers will play their own arrangements of works by Telemann and J. S. Bach.


Summer Concert Service: Hildigunnur Einarsdóttir

July 10 at 11:00


Mezzo-Soprano Hildigunnur Einarsdóttir sings in mass at Skálholt Cathedral.

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Artist talk: Hróðmar Ingi Sigurbjörnsson

July 10 at 15:15

Composer-in-residence Hróðmar Ingi Sigurbjörnsson speaks about his work Skálholtsmessa that will be performed at the final concert of the festival.


Final concert: Skálholt Mass

July 10 at 16:00​

Skálholtsmessa (Skálholt Mass) was composed in spring 2000 by the request of the festival’s Founder and Artistic Director, Helga Ingólfsdóttir. The piece premiered later that year at Ólafsvaka. The work has since then occasionally been performed, including at Skálholt Festival 2010 with a new generation of singers and instrumentalists. After that performance, an idea ignited with the composer where he wished to arrange the piece for four voices and a choir in order to maximize the compositional possibilities of the piece. This version will now be premiered with significant changes in various chapters. The text of the piece is built upon traditional Latin Mass and other texts that fit with the occasion, day and place. These texts were found in old Icelandic scripts, f.ex. Hymni scholares written in 1687. During the renewal, the composer found himself compelled to add a chapter with the poetry of Gyrðir Elíasson, Englakórinn á kvöldæfingu (e. The Angel Choir at Evening Rehearsal).

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