Brass and beautiful singing at the Hallgrimskirkja Christmas Concerts

The Advent is nearing and so is the Christmas Concerts Festival in Hallgrimskirkja, consisting this year of nine captivating musical events.

A most festive organ concert marks the beginning of the Festival this year. Bjorn Steinar Solbergsson, organist at the chuch, plays Advent music by Bach and Guilmant on the enormous Klais-organ of the church on Saturday November 28th at noon.

Hallgrimskirkja’s excellent chamber choir Schola cantorum will sing three lunctime concerts on Fridays during the Advent. It is an ideal half-hour escape from the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations and a wonderful chance to experience the true Christmas spirit of Reykjavik. The first concert is Friday December 4th at 12.00–12.30 and again on December 11th and 18th with a different programme every week.

Jólamynd 1The Motet Choir of Hallgrimskirkja has for over thirty years brought Christmas joy to the natives of Iceland and it’s Christmas concerts are an important part of the lavish festivities in Reykjavik during the Advent. At this year’s concerts the pure choir singing will be embellished with both the organ and a brass quartet from the Icelandic Symphonic Orchestra. The program consists of wonderful Advent and Christmas music, both German hymns from the baroque era and rarely heard English carols. Certainly there will also be an abundance of classic Christmas carols, both Icelandic and from abroad. The concerts are on December 5th, 6th and 8th and tickets can be bought here and at the church, tlf 510 1000.

On Thursday December 17th, there will be an exciting jazz concert in the church. Pianist Markus Burger and saxophonist Jan von Klewist will play jazzy versions of Christmas hymns. This concert is in support of the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue (ICE-SAR).

 

Jólamynd 3Olivier Messiaen’s great organ piece The Birth of the Saviour – Nine Contemplations for Organ will be performed by Hallgrimskirkja’s talented organist Bjorn Steinar Solbergsson on December 27th. Last but not least there will be the annual New Year’s concert on New Year’s Eve with trumpets, organ and timpani. This concert has become a very popular tradition in Reykjavik. Featured this year are the works of Vivaldi, Bach and Albinoni.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that on the first Sunday of Advent there will be a festive mass in Hallgrimskirkja with the bishop of Iceland, beautiful music and the opening of a new arts exhibition in the church.

The whole programme can be seen in our event calendar.