Triumphant trumpets and thundering timpani will join glorious orchestral tones of theInternational Baroque Orchestra of Hallgrímskirkja (previously of Den Haag) and the rapturous singing of the Hallgrímskirkja Motet Choir during celebratory performances of Charpentiers’s Fanfare and Te Deum and J. S. Bach’s Mass nr. 1 in F-Major on the 29th and 30th of October. The concerts are held to celebrate the 30 year inauguration anniversary of Hallgrímskirkja Church, but the church was formally consecrated on October 26th in 1986. Also performing are the solo vocalists Sigríður Ósk Kristjánsdóttir mezzosoprano, Auður Guðjohnsen alto, Oddur A. Jónsson bass, Thelma Sigurdórsdóttir soprano and Guðmundur Vignir Karlsson tenor. Conductor is Hörður Áskelsson.
Admission ISK 5.900. Ticket sale at Hallgrimskirkja tel. 510 1000 and online on MIDI.IS
The Hallgrímskirkja Motet Choir, founded in 1982, has long been one of the leading choirs in Iceland. Its large and diverse repertoire includes a number of oratorios, passions and requiems, as well as a cappella sacred music from various periods. The choir has also premiered many Icelandic compositions. The choir has toured widely and performed in some of Europe’s most prominent cathedrals and at various festivals. Among major works performed recently by the Hallgrímskirkja Motet Choir are J.S. Bach’s passions, the Christmas Oratorio and Mass in B minor, the requiems by Mozart, Duruflé and Fauré, the oratorios Elijah and Paulus by Mendelssohn, Vesper by Rachmaninoff, Mass for Double Choir by Frank Martin and Solomon by Handel. For its performance of Solomon at the Festival of Sacred Arts 2015, the Motet Choir and its conductor Hörður Áskelsson, were nominated for the Icelandic Music Prize. The Motet Choir has recorded and released many CDs earning international acclaim as well as winning prizes at Choir Festivals including the Grand Prix prize at the Festival Cancó Mediterrània in Spain in 2014.
The Hallgrimskirkja International Baroque Orchestra ( earlier “The Hague International BaroqueOrchestra”) is comprised of some of the finest musicians around the world, most having studied at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, one of the leading academies in baroque performance. The members have established themselves as highly sought after musicians in Europe, now regularly performing with some of theworld‘s leading ensembles and orchestras under the baton of acclaimed directors. These include the Ricercar Consort, Les Arts Florissants, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Bach Collegium Japan, Concerto Copenhagen, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Gabrieli Consort & Players, Collegium Vocale Gent, Capriccio Stravagante and Orchestre des Champs-Elysées, and directors such as Philippe Pierlot, William Christie, Masaaki Suzuki, Skip Sempé and Philippe Herreweghe.
Members of The Hallgrímskirkja International Baroque Orchestra have frequently visited Iceland since 2004, receiving wide acclaim for their performances. The orchestra last visited Iceland in 2015, performing theoratorio Solomon by G.F. Händel with the Hallgrímskirkja Motet Choir in the Festival of Sacred Arts under thedirection of Hörður Áskelsson. The performance got ***** review and was nominated to the Iceland Music Award 2016.
The Hallgrímskirkja International Baroque Orchestra is now formally with residence in Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík under the direction of Hörður Áskelsson Music Director of Hallgrímskirkja.
Hörður Áskelsson has been main organist and cantor in Hallgrímskirkja since finishing his graduate studies in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1982. In the same year he founded the Motet Choir of Hallgrímskirkja and was instigator of the founding of the Friends of the Arts Society of Hallgrímskirkja. n 1987 he established the Festival of Sacred Arts, since then a biannual event on the cultural scene in Iceland. In 1993 he founded the Summer the Organ concert series and in 1996 Áskelsson founded the chamber choir Schola cantorum, which has already become one of Iceland’s most respected choirs. Hörður Áskelsson has received much recognition and conducted many oratorios, often with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, and premiered a number of Icelandic compositions.With his choirs he has participated in various music festivals and international competitions, winning prizes. He has received many prizes including the Icelandic Music Prize in 2002 and the distinguished Knight’s Cross of the Icelandic Order of the Falcon in 2004. Hörður Áskelsson has also been a teacher of the organ and choir conducting at the Iceland National Church’s Music School and from 2005-2011 Hörður Áskelsson was the Church Music Director of the National Church of Iceland.