This February and March, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. presents Nordic Cool 2013, a month-long international festival that asks “What is ‘Nordic’?” and celebrates the diversity of the Nordic region
Thanks to this festival, Scandinavia House is afforded the exciting opportunity to present some of these thrilling musical acts in New York City.
THE REYKJAVÍK WIND QUINTET
The Reykjavík Wind QuintetBased in the world’s northernmost capital, in the land of volcanoes, glaciers, and the midnight sun, The Reykjavík Wind Quintet is an internationally-acclaimed ensemble consisting of key players from the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. In March they will perform a concert of works including Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson’s Hræra (1988), Samuel Barber’s Summer Music for Wind Quintet, Op.31 (1955), Five Antique Hungarian Dances (1961) by Ferenc Farkas, Trois Pièces Brèves (1930) by Jacques Ibert, and Carl Nielsen’s Wind Quintet, Op. 43 (1922).
Established in 1981, The Reykjavík Wind Quintet is comprised of Hallfríður Ólafsdóttir, flute; Daði Kolbeinsson, oboe; Einar Jóhannesson, clarinet; Jósef Ognibene, horn; and Darri Mikaelsson, bassoon. The quintet is among the most prominent and active participants in Iceland’s vibrant musical community. Making its reputation both at home and abroad, they have performed at major music festivals in a wide variety of venues throughout Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia.
Their travels have taken them to some of the world’s most renowned concert houses, including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, and the Sydney Opera House, as well as to the Schleswig-Holstein, Cheltenham, and Flanders Festivals. As cultural ambassadors for Iceland, The Reykjavík Wind Quintet has accompanied former Icelandic President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir on state visits abroad and appeared in command performances for such foreign dignitaries as Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and King Juan Carlos of Spain.
The quintet’s repertoire varies in style from the early classics to contemporary, including all of the standard masterpieces. Many composers have written specifically for the group, including popular works based on Icelandic folk music. Through the years, their recordings for BBC, ABC (Australia) and on BIS, Chandos, and other labels have received critical acclaim in the prestigious Gramophone and Penguin Guides to Classical CDs.