Pentecost is lavishly celebrated in Hallgrímskirkja every year, this year with a magnificent organ concert, a beautiful a cappella concert with the church choir and the opening of an arts exhibition.
The festival starts at noon on Saturday 14th of May with organist Hörður Áskelsson’s concert, where he will play Whitsun-related pieces by J. S. Bach, Buxtehude and D’Grigny. On Sunday morning there is a high mass with the Hallgrímskirkja Motet Choir singing under Áskelsson’s conduction. Reverend Sigurður Árni Þórðarson says mass, organist is Björn Steinar Sólbergsson. On Pentecost Monday Reverend Þórðarson will again say mass and members of the Motet Choir sing, conducted by organist Sólbergsson.
Right after Sunday mass, at 12. 15 noon, there opens a new arts exhibition in the narthex of the church. Hulda Hákon is an acclaimed, Icelandic pictorial artist, known for her lively bas-reliefs. The exhibition is called Peter and consists of bas-reliefs referencing both the seafaring of Icelanders and the belief in Saint Peter, the young fisherman that became a disciple of Jesus. The exhibition is open until August 26th 2016. Hákons’s pictures are sure to both please and interest the great number of visitors expected this summer in Hallgrímskirkja. All are welcome to the opening, light refreshments will be served.
Last but certainly not least, is the a cappella concert of the renowned Hallgrímskirkja Motet Choir, starting at 5 pm on Sunday May 15th. The choir is recording a new CD these days with the excellent assistance of Jens Ulrich Braun, that has made many outstanding recordings for the label BIS. The choir and conductor Áskelsson have selected favourite works from the 35-year history of the choir to perform and record, e.g. chapters from Frank Martin’s beautiful Mass, chapters from Rachmaninov’s Vesper, works by Bruchner, Messiaen, Pablo Casals, Duruflé, Knut Nystedt and Icelandic composers Hreiðar Ingi and Halldór Hauksson.
Admittance for the organ concert is 2000 ISK and 3500 for the choir concert. Other events are free. Tickets can be bought at the entrance, at the church shop and at www.midi.is for the choir concert.