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Iceland’s Favourite Song: Heyr himna smiður

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Iceland’s Favourite Song: Heyr himna smiður

Hamrahlíð Choir and Þorgerður Ingólfsdóttir

The Hamrahlíð Choir under the direction of Þorgerður Ingólfsdóttir will perform the song this Friday for Our classics: Icelandic favourites at Harpa. Photo: A screenshot from RÚV.

Choral piece Heyr himna smiður was the clear winner in a recent poll asking Icelanders to choose their favourite Icelandic composition, RÚV reports. The online poll was conducted by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra to determine the program of a concert held this Friday titled Klassíkin okkar (Our Classics). The concert will feature Icelandic compositions from the 20th and 21st centuries in celebration of the country’s centennial of sovereignty. Halla Oddný Magnúsdóttir, the concert’s program manager, says the song “touches some deep nerve in us Icelanders.”

The work, composed by Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson, is also known abroad, in part thanks to an impromptu performance by Icelandic band Árstíðir which went viral several years ago.

A recording of the work by composer Hildur Guðnadóttir appeared recently in popular series The Handmaid’s Tale, causing strong reactions from Icelanders.

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