Beethoven's Ninth Symphony

By choosing four or more concerts you receive a 20% discount of your purchase
Date Location Price
16 Sep 2021 » 19:30 » Thursday Eldborg | Harpa 2.900 – 8.500 ISK
17 Sep 2021 » 19:30 » Friday 2.900 - 8.500 ISK
  • Program

    Sofia Gubaidulina Fachwerk
    Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony no. 9

  • Conductor

    Eva Ollikainen

  • Soloist

    Geir Draugsvoll

  • Soloists

    Hallveig Rúnarsdóttir soprano
    Sigríður Ósk Kristjánsdóttir mezzo-soprano
    Elmar Gilbertsson tenor
    Jóhann Kristinsson bass

Beethoven's Symphony no. 9, his last work in the genre, is one of the most beloved compositions in music history. It is also the first to include solo voice parts. The Ninth had a profound impact on the development of the symphonic form in the 19th century, influencing composers such as Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bruckner, and Mahler. The final movement, the Ode to Joy, has been equally influential in the 20th and 21st centuries. Often characterised as message of peace and equality, the music was heard in connection with momentous events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the student demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in China. 

A stellar group of musicians are featured in the performance. For years, Hallveig Rúnarsdóttir and Sigríður Ósk have been in the front ranks of Icelandic singers, and tenor Elmar Gilbertsson as well. Jóhann Kristinsson has drawn high praise for his inspired and nuanced singing. “His voice was marvellous,” said the critic from Fréttablaðið recently, “an amalgamation of breadth and power.”  

Norway's Geir Draugsvoll is one of the world's pre-eminent accordionists. For years he has collaborated with composer Sofia Gubaidulina, who has written a number of works for the bayan, a Russian chromatic button accordion). Draugsvoll is the dedicatee of Gubaidulina's Fachwerk, which the critic from BBC Music Magazine called “a spellbindingly poetic fantasy”. This evening's performance is the Icelandic premiere of Fachwerk. Draugsvoll is slated to perform twice with the ISO this season, both times playing the captivating music of Gubaidulina, who celebrates her ninetieth birthday in October 2021.

The performance is dedicated to Vladimir Ashkenazy, as a gesture of thanks for his many decades of work on behalf of musical life in Iceland.