Icelandic Works for the Stage: Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Rumon Gamba

March 30, 2023, 9:00 am

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Composer Páll Ísólfsson was the first director of the Reykjavík Music School. Like other musicians, he was forced by the lack of opportunity in Iceland to study abroad but, unlike others, he was able to return and work as the Organist at Reykjavík Cathedral to support his activities as a composer. His music for the Ibsen play The Feast at Solhaug, performed in 1943, was his theatrical debut. This was followed in 1945 by the more ambitious score for Úr Myndabók Jónasar Hallgrímssonar. Jórunn Viðar started her advanced training at Ísólfsson’s conservatory, followed by studies in Berlin and then at the Juilliard School. In New York, she met a fellow Icelander and dance student, Sigríður Ármann. The two of them collaborated on Eldur (Fire), which would be the first ballet for the new National Theatre in Reykjavík. Their second collaboration, Ólafur Liljurós, is based on a traditional Nordic legend.