The fifth Reykjavík Midsummer Music festival will be held in Harpa Concert Hall June 16-19. Outstanding musicians from around the world will convene during this brightest time of year and play seven concerts, based on the theme Wanderer. The goal is to take the audience “wandering through diverse musical landscapes, from the reassuringly familiar to the mysterious, unknown and thrilling – even into outer space,” according to Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson, the festival’s artistic director.
The opening concert on June 16 features music by Maurice Ravel, Toru Takemitsu, Kaija Saariaho and Skúli Sverrisson, performed by numerous musicians from various countries.
The second concert, titled ‘Once there was a Way,’ will be held at Mengi,Óðinsgata, where works by Toru Takemitsu will be prominent.
The third concert features Iceland’s beloved opera singer Kristinn Sigmundsson, who will sing Mahler’s ‘Songs of a Wayfarer’ and a selection of other Lieder. He will be accompanied by a group of acclaimed international musicians.
During the fourth concert, Charles Ives guides the audience outside the confines of equal temperament in his 3 Quarter Tone Pieces, followed by works of John Cage, Bela Bartok and Gorge Crumb.
The fifth concert takes place at Mengi, beginning with Kaija Saariaho’s ‘de la Terre’ for violin and electronics.
A concert on June 19 will celebrate the 90th birthday of one of Iceland’s best known composers, Jón Nordal, and his work.
The grand finale celebrates the songs of Schubert and Beethoven, as well as works by Áskell Másson, Ravel and Dvořák.