Favourites – Iceland Symphony
- Jóna G. Kolbrúnardóttir og Garðar Thor Cortes
Operettas and waltzes by Johann Strauss the Younger, Franz Lehár, Tchaikovsky, Mélanie Bonis, Amy Beach, and others.
Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason, conductor
Jóna G. Kolbrúnardóttir, soloist
Garðar Thor Cortes, soloist
What better way to ring in the new year by listening to light-hearted Viennese favourites like those performed on New Year's Day by the Vienna Philharmonic? The Iceland Symphony’s Viennese concerts are well established as a cornerstone of the Orchestra’s programming. They always begin with Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus overture and end with The Blue Danube. Sandwiched in between are popular operetta arias and duets that are sure to bring a smile to every face.
The programme also features light-hearted, scintillating music by two women who ranked among respected composers in the late 19th century but were then largely forgotten until recently: Mélanie Bonis and Amy Beach. Dancers will also take the stage, lending a festive air to the concert.
Jóna G. Kolbrúnardóttir studied at the Reykjavík Academy of Singing and Vocal Arts and in Vienna. She performed in the Icelandic Opera production of Hansel and Gretel, to widespread praise, and was a featured vocalist at the Iceland Symphony’s festival concert in Eldborg hall on 1 December 2018, commemorating the centenary of Iceland’s sovereignty. This is her first appearance at the orchestra’s Viennese concerts.
Garðar Thor Cortes’ reputation as a singer precedes him, in Iceland and abroad. He last participated in the Viennese Favourites programme in 2015 but has lived abroad for long periods of time, singing the lead in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, both in Europe and in the United States.
Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason is a familiar face on Iceland’s music scene. This is his first time conducting the Iceland Symphony’s Viennese Favourites.