Att. Please note the festival has been postponed until further notice due to the Covid 19 pandemic. A new date will be announced in the next weeks.
Confection for the Ear (Eyrnakonfekt) is a musical presentation of affection. Composed for piano and the voice, the composer and lyricists Þórunn Guðmundsdóttir has put into song her comedic perspective on love, the Icelandic summer and common cuisine. A storyteller known for her operas and plays, Þórunn now presents her melodic and accessible music in the form of quartets, trios, duets and solo numbers. Even the ear untrained to the Icelandic language will be charmed by the music and expressive performance of Icelandic musicians, sending you off with Confection in your Ear.
Björk Níelsdóttir, soprano
Eyjólfur Eyjólfsson, tenor
Erla Dóra Vogler, mezzo-soprano
Eva Þyri Hilmarsdóttir, pianist
Hafsteinn Þórólfsson, baritone
Björk Níelsdóttir studied classical singing at the Music School in Hafnarfjörður with Þórunn Guðmundsdóttir and at Amsterdam Conservatory where she graduated from in 2015 with a master's degree and distinction of artistry. Björk has appeared in premieres of numerous operas, performances and compositions, e.g. Wozzeck by Romain Bischoff, Beeldenstorm by Jan-Paul Wagemans, Aarappelvreters by David Dramm, Plastóperan by Gísli J. Grétarsson and Árni Kristjánsson, Konan og selhamurinn by Hróðmar I. Sigurbjörnsson and Ragnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir, and most recently the children's opera Ruimtevlucht which was nominated as children's show of the year 2020 at the Theater Awards in the Netherlands. In Iceland, Björk has been in the vanguard of contemporary music, performing premieres in 40 chamber works and operas. Björk has also composed works for her ensembles. In 2018, she received a grant from the RÚV Composers' Fund for her work Allt er ömurlegt, which premiered at Dark Music Days 2019. Her works have also been performed at Hljóðön and Wonderfeel Festival, to name a couple. In 2018, Björk released her first EP from SmitRecords with her own work and improvisation called sög / geit / púði. Björk Níelsdóttir has toured with Björk Guðmundsdóttir and Florence and the Machine as a singer and trumpet player. She has also sung at many of the major jazz and music festivals in Europe with the bands Kaja Draksler Oktett and Polyband s.s. Gaudeamus Festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, L´alarme Festival Berlin, Tampere Jazz Happening and Ljubljanda Jazz Festival. Björk recently sang in the children's opera Fuglabjargið in a production of Borgarleikhúsið and the theater group CGFC in January. Two albums were also released last year, Peysur and Parruk by Gadus Morhua, and Flowers of Evil by Dúplum Dúós. Björk Níelsdóttir is a regular member of Kaja Draksler Oktett, Dúplum duo, Polyband, Gadus Morhua, Cauda Collective and Stirni Ensemble.
Eyjólfur Eyjólfsson was born in Reykjavík and graduated as a flautist from the Hafnarfjörður School of Music, where he also studied singing. He continued his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he completed the Opera Course and MMus degree. Eyjólfur’s repertoire varies from medieval and folk music, art songs, oratorios to operatic roles. He has worked with accompanists such as Dalton Baldwin, Paula Chateauneuf, Eugene Asti and Rudolf Jansen. On the oratorio platform, Eyjólfur has appeared in numerous roles in various venues, such as Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavík, Maestranza Theatre in Sevilla, King’s College Chapelle in Cambridge and Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio in Milan. Eyjólfur’s operatic début was in the role of Spakur in the folkloric musical Kolrassa by Þórunn Guðmundsdóttir at the Tjarnarbíó Theatre in Reykjavík. Since then his operatic roles have included Prologue and Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw at the Music Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sailor in Dido and Aeneas for English National Opera, Beppe in Pagliacci, Sellem in The Rake’s Progress and Don Curzio in The Marriage of Figaro for Icelandic Opera and the role of Loki Laufeyjarson in Þrymskviða by Jón Ásgeirsson at Harpa Concert Hall for Reykjavík Opera Days. Current season plans include Ragnar in the folkloristic opera Mærþöll by Þórunn Guðmundssdóttir. Recently, Eyjólfur joined forces with one of Iceland's oldest music ensembles, Voces Thules, which specialises in Icelandic medieval and contemporary music. Eyjólfur is also a founding member of the recently formed ensemble Gadus Morhua who's main inspiration is the curious combination of Icelandic folk music traditions and European baroque music. With both ensembles, Eyjólfur sings and plays various instruments with a special focus on the Icelandic langspil, a three stringed drone zither. Along with performing and teaching, Eyjólfur is also an active researcher as an ethnomusicologist where his main research topic is the creativity and craft of the langspil in elementary schools.
Erla Dóra Vogler, mezzo-soprano, studied singing at the music school of Fljótsdalshérað, the Reykjavík College of Music and at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. From the beginning, her main teachers have been Keith Reed, Þórunn Guðmundsdóttir, Bernhard Adler, Marjana Burgstaller-Lipovšek and Rotraud Hansmann. She has performed in several concert series and in numerous venues as a soloist with symphony orchestras, choirs, chamber groups and solo instruments. Among these performances have been premières by contemporary composers. Erla has released two CD´s in collaboration with two pianists: Víravirki, in 2010, with the pianist Doris Lindner, and Jórunn Viðar – Songs, in 2019, with Eva Þyri Hilmarsdóttir, which was nominated at the Icelandic Music Awards as the best album of the year in classical music.
After graduating from the Reykjavík College of Music, Eva Þyri Hilmarsdóttir furthered her studies in Denmark at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, receiving an Advanced Soloist Diploma, and in The Royal Academy of Music in London, where she graduated with a Distinction and was awarded a DipRAM and the Christian Carpenter Piano Prize for an outstanding final recital. Her teachers were Thorsteinn Gauti Sigurdsson, Halldor Haraldsson, Prof. John Damgaard and Michael Dussek. Aside from giving solo recitals, Eva Thyri takes an avid interest in chamber music and lieder. She has given numerous inaugural performances of Icelandic and foreign compositions, appearing in festivals such as Dark Music Days in Reykjavik, Ung Nordisk Musik, Young Euro Classic Festival in Berlin, Young Composers Symposium, London and Opera Days in Reykjavik. She also participated in over one hundred recitals dedicated to Icelandic music in the series Pearls of Icelandic song in Harpa concert house. In 2017 Eva Þyri participated in The Icelandic Opera’s production of La Voix Humaine by Poulenc, and in December 2018 she and Erla Dóra Vogler, mezzo-soprano, released a cd with works for solo voice and piano by Jórunn Viðar, in celebration of her 100th birthday. The CD was nominated as Album of the Year for the Icelandic Music Awards. Eva Þyri teaches at Iceland University of the Arts alongside performing.
Hafsteinn Þórólfsson started his musical education at the Reykjavik Academy of Singing and Vocal Arts and later finished his Master's degree from Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. He later finished a Bachelor's degree in Music Composition from the Iceland Academy of the Arts and then a Master's degree in Music Composition from The Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus Denmark. He has performed and recorded a broad range of music genres as a soloist and in vocal groups. That includes contemporary classical music, dubbing for film and television, backup vocal singing, folk music and pop. He has premiered many compositions by Icelandic and composers of other nationalities and worked with esteemed artists on their music, from Björk to Arvo Pärt. Many of these performances and recordings have received Icelandic an international acclaim. He has also been in many projects that have won or been nominated for awards. That includes the Icelandic and Danish music awards, BAFTA and Grammy.
Þórunn Guðmundsdóttir is active as a playwright and a composer of operas and musicals. The themes of many of her works have their origin in Icelandic folklore and fairy tales. The style of both the texts and the music is often humorous. The songs on today's program are no exception with emphasis on the comical aspects of food, summer and love. The songs were written over a period of many years, but all of them have been reworked and rearranged this year.
Seigla festival is made by the Icelandic Schumann Society and is sponsored by Ýlir tónlistarsjóður, Styrktarsjóður SUT og Ruthar Hermanns, Tónlistarsjóður Rannís, Barnamenningarsjóður and Menningarsjóður FÍH.
Students, senior citizens and members of the Schumann association enjoy discounted prices for events at Seigla. However, you must show confirmation of membership or a student id card.