Whether because of a subway advertising campaign, an infamous volcanic eruption, or the underdog soccer success story of the decade, the last several years have seen a surge of interest in all things Icelandic. Similarly, it has always been in the nature of Icelanders to look beyond the horizon in search of new possibilities.
One of the results of this confluence is that artists in America and Iceland suddenly found a wealth of opportunities to collaborate and share ideas. Northern Voices explores the relationship between such artists, and the dialogue between popular and classical idioms which often form the center of such encounters.
This concert, performed by American pianist Evan Fein and Icelandic tenor Bragi Bergþórsson, celebrates the effect of seeing oneself through another’s eyes.
Selections for the evening include excerpts from Fein’s New Icelandic Folksongs with lyrics by Thorvaldur Kristjánsson as well as the premiere of a new trio of songs by Fein with lyrics by mystery novelist Ragnar Jónasson. Also included are works by composers Halldór Smárason, Jón Leifs, Jón Þórarinsson, and Joseph Hallman.
About Bragi Bergþórsson
Bragi Bergþórsson was born in Reykjavík, Iceland. He completed his undergraduate studies at the Reykjavík College of Music and later pursued a Masters of Music at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London under the guidance of Adrian Thompson and Rudolf Piernay. He has also taken part in masterclasses given by Sir Thomas Allen, Elly Ameling, Dalton Baldwin, Jorma Hynninen, Helmut Deutsch, and Kristján Jóhannsson.
His operatic experience includes performances of Hans in Die Verkaufte Braut (Smetana), Wenzel in Kleider machen Leute (Zemlinsky), Lensky in Eugene Onegin (Tschaikowsky), Idamante in Idomeneo (Mozart), Edwin in Die Csardasfürstin (Kalmán), Baron in Der Wildschütz (Lortzing), Flamand in Capriccio (Strauss), and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni (Mozart). Bragi was a member of the ensemble of Theater Vorpommern, situated in Stralsund, Germany from 2011 to 2014. He currently lives in Iceland.
About Evan Fein
American composer Evan Fein was born in 1984 in Cleveland, Ohio and currently resides in New York City where he serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School Pre-College and Evening Divisions. His music, known for its strongly lyrical and narrative qualities, has been widely performed at home and abroad—including in France, Germany, Iceland, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands—and has been commissioned by organizations including Musica Sacra, Opéra de Poche, the Albany Symphony, the Juilliard School, and the New York Choreographic Institute. He is the recipient of honors and awards from the ASCAP Foundation, Boston Metro Opera, and the American Scandinavian Society.
Evan Fein’s first opera, The Raven’s Kiss, based on Icelandic folk stories, premiered in concert at Juilliard in the spring of 2011, and was revived at Scandinavia House in 2012. His second opera, L’Île des sept sœurs, was given its premiere in Paris in October 2013 by Opéra de Poche.
A third opera, City of Ashes, also commissioned by Opéra de Poche, was presented in November 2015 in Paris. His first major work for chorus and orchestra, Deborah, an oratorio based on the Book of Judges, was premiered by Musica Sacra at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in March 2016.
Evan Fein began playing the piano and composing at the age of six. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts and a Master of Music from the Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He pursued auxiliary studies at the Freie Universität Berlin (FUBiS) and L’École Normale de Musique de Paris (EAMA). For more information, visit evanfein.com.
$20 ($15 ASF Members)