This event has bee postponed. A new date will be announced soon.
Hlín Pétursdóttir Behrens soprano
Erna Vala Arnardóttir piano
Scenes from Childhood, Kinderszenen Op. 15, by Robert Schumann is a beautiful collection of thirteen small pieces. Each carries a title of a certain time or place from one's childhood. The pieces are imaginative, delicate, playful and allow imagination to run wild. Hlín and Erna Vala have created a world inspired by Schumann’s pieces. They invite the audience on a journey that leads them through the sceneries, kids and adults are all welcome.
Hlín Pétursdóttir Behrens is the artistic director and co-founder of Austuróp, the opera company of East Iceland. Before that, whilst chairman of The Classical Musicians’ Association she founded the Harpa Welcome Home series, curating the concert series Klassík í Vatnsmýrinni in the Nordic House in Reykjavik. Hlín began her studies at the Reykjavik College of Music with Sieglinde Kahman and later graduated from the opera class of the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg. She worked as an opera singer on the European mainland for twelve years, and was for the main part of that time under contract at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich. In Germany she also enjoyed guest contracts in Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Bonn, Bremen, Nuremberg and Frankfurt, while other roles took her further afield to Austria, Switzerland and France. At the Icelandic opera Hlín sang the role of Musetta and Clorinda, and Ännchen with the Summer Opera at the Festival of the Arts. Among her many roles in operatic repertoire are Despina, Zerlina, 1. Dame, Papagena, Blonde, Sophie, Najade, Musetta, Frasquita and Olympia, as well as several roles within the genre of operetta. Hlín has performed most major works of the sacred oratorio repertoire, as well as Stravinsky ´s Les Noces and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Among the pianists that she has collaborated with closely in Lied recitals are Hrefna Unnur Eggertsdóttir, Hrönn Þráinsdóttir, Peter Máté. Stefan Matthewes and Gerrit Schuil. She has sung Lieder from the romantic era, French Chansons, the songs of Hugo Wolf and Richard Strauss, but also placed an emphasis on twentieth century composers such as Korngold, Zemlinsky, Kurt Weill and Benjamin Britten, and of course on Icelandic music both traditional and contemporary. Hlín has premiered a number of compositions by Icelandic composers and as part of the series Hljóðön in Hafnarfjörður and the festival Dark Music she performed pieces by Elín Gunnlaugsdóttir, Una Sveinbjarnardóttir and Kaija Saariaho. She has also worked with the Skálholt Baroque Ensemble in the Skálholt Summer Concerts and appeared in concerts in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, the United States and China. Hlín taught in Reykjavík for several years, at the College of Music, The Sigurður Demetz Singing School and at the Academy of the Arts. She now teaches at the Music School in Egilsstaðir and the Music School in Fellabær.
Erna Vala Arnardóttir pianist has performed widely in Europe and the USA in recent years in addition to being awarded numerous prizes for her playing. Most recently, she received the White Rose Medal of Honor from Sauli Niinistö, president of Finland, and won first prize in the EPTA Piano Competition in Iceland. Erna Vala has performed as soloist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Iceland Amateur Symphony Orchestra. She has been invited as guest artist for festivals such as Arctic Initiative in Washington D.C., Albignac Piano Festival in France and Trinity Laban Contemporary Art Festival in London. Erna Vala is a founding member and president of the Icelandic Schumann Society and artistic director of the music festival Seigla in Harpa and Sigurjónssafn. Erna Vala earned her master’s degree from the Sibelius Academy in Finland, studying with Hamsa Juris. She is now working towards a doctoral degree in piano performance at USC Thornton School of Music as a Fulbright Scholar, under the guidance of Bernadene Blaha. Previously, she finished her bachelor’s degree and a diploma at the Iceland University of the Arts with Peter Máté as her teacher. Erna Vala has received extremely helpful grants for her studies, including the Rotary Grant in 2021, Birgir Einarsson Memorial Grant in 2020 and 2017, Jón Stefánsson Memorial Grant in 2019, Halldór Hansen Memorial Grant in 2018 and Landsbankinn’s Scholarship in 2017. Erna Vala was also one of the winners of the Icelandic Young Soloist Competition in 2014.
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.
Further information www.seiglafestival.com