Behind us is an eventful summer of sacred arts in Hallgrimskirkja. All summer the church has been alive with delightful music and talented artists from far and wide: A sequence of organ virtuosos, magnificent choirs and of course the Iceland premiere of one of Handel’s great oratorios. In all, about 20 thousand guests attended artistic events in Hallgrimskirkja this summer.
An enormous number of people visit Hallgrimskirkja every day and tourists obviously are most grateful for a chance to enjoy a concert in this beautiful house of God, not least an organ performance. The gigantic Klais-organ that looms over the nave always amazes and impresses those that visit for the first time, truly a magnificent instrument.
This summer’s concerts were launched with the International Organ Summer in June, well received and excellently attended. Mostly our guests were travellers but we also enjoyed a significant number of locals, many of them members of the Friends of the Arts Society of Hallgrimskirkja. Aðsóknartölur
The peak of the season was the Festival of Sacred Arts in August. Opening with a premiere of Handel’s oratorio Solomon performed by the Hallgrimskirkja Motet Choir and the Den Haag International Baroque Orchestra, it was an unforgettable experience. Long remembered also will be the flamboyant baroque dancers, Olivier Latry’s and his wife’s powerful four-handed organ performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, the wonderful English choir tradition brought to us by the King’s Men of Cambridge and many more.
These days the Friends of the Arts Society is preparing for the Christmas season. The Motet choir will sing it’s traditional Christmas concerts in early December, The Schola Cantorum chamber choir will perform at lunchtime during the Advent and we certainly will have the festive annual New Year’s concert with organ and trumpets. Additionally, organist Bjorn Steinar Solbergsson will also give a Christmas concert. Next year´s exciting and ambitious programme will soon be revealed.