Last weekend we had a most splendid start of the Organ Summer with young Thomas Ospital’s concert. His magnificent playing was both thrilling and very moving and his talent for improvisation simply left the audience speechless. Ospital ended his Sunday concert with opening an envelope containing a surprise hymn chosen by one of Hallgrímskirkja’s organists and improvising a whole, flamboyant organ piece on it. There was hardly a dry eye in the church by the time he finished and many wanted to specifically thank this 27-year-old frenchman after the concert.
This week’s highlight at the Organ Summer is the premiere of a brand new organ piece by local composer Hreiðar Ingi. The whole week has an Icelandic theme and the works of the main Icelandic organ composers will be heard: Jón Nordal, Páll Ísólfsson and many more.
Saturday´s and Sunday’s organist is Hallgrímskirkja’s own Björn Steinar Sólbergsson who is among the most talented organists in Iceland and headmaster of the National Church School of Music. Sólbergsson is educated in France and his programme this weekend reflects this, a vibrant mixture of Icelandic and French pieces by masters of the organ. The Saturday June 25 concert starts at 12 noon and the Sunday June 26 one, with the premiere of Hreiðar Ingi’s piece, at 5 pm.
Every Thursday at 12 noon we have an organ concert as well and the coming Thursday’s (June 32) performer is Guðmundur Sigurðsson, organist of Hafnarfjörður church. Sigurðsson plays an exciting blend of German, Icelandic, British and South-American music.
On Wednesdays Hallgrímskirkja’s wonderful and multi-prized chamber choir, Schola Cantorum, gives concerts at 12 noon. This week, June 22, is their first summer concert this year. The programme consists of lovely 20th and 21st century a cappella music along with older church music and music reflecting the Icelandic musical heritage.
Tickets for all summer concerts are at the entrance 1 hour before each concert and at www.midi.is.