Víkingur and John Adams

By choosing four or more concerts you receive a 20% discount of your purchase
Date Location Price
5 May 2022 » 19:30 » Thursday Eldborg | Harpa 2.900 – 8.500 kr.
  • Program

    John Adams Short Ride in a Fast Machine
    John Adams Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?
    John Adams Harmonielehre

  • Conductor

    John Adams

  • Soloist

    Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson

  • Host

    Halla Oddný Magnúsdóttir

John Adams is one of the United States’ most revered composers and a pioneer of minimalism. The creator of massive operas such as Nixon in China and Doctor Atomic, he is the recipient of five Grammy Awards and six honorary doctorates. In this first visit to Iceland, Adams conducts a concert performance of his own music, both new and older works. 

Short Ride in a Fast Machine is one of his best-known pieces, a driving and ebullient work inspired by a short drive with a reckless driver. His Harmonielehre, from 1985, is a large, sweeping work, a “statement of belief in the power of tonality,” as the composer himself put it. It has long since been considered a contemporary classic, and most agree that it is one of the cornerstones of the American minimalist canon. Indeed, the critic from Gramophone magazine called it “the nearest thing on offer to a minimalist symphony.”

Adams wrote the piano concerto Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? in 2018, taking the title from a quote attributed to religious reformer Martin Luther: “Must the Devil have all the good tunes?” The concerto was premiered in Los Angeles by Yuja Wang, but Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson has performed it under the baton of the composer all over the world. Now they will join forces to introduce it to Icelandic concertgoers. This captivating concerto, referred to by one critic as a volcanic eruption of energy and creativity, is an irresistible cocktail of Liszt-like virtuosity, jazz, and honky-tonk pianism.

One of America’s most famous composers conducts his own music in Iceland for the first time.