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News - Anna Thorvaldsdottir | AERIALITY & In the Light of Air

Kristinn Ingvarsson
Friday, September 22, 2017
Anna Thorvaldsdottir | AERIALITY & In the Light of Air

Two signature works by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir will be heard in London for the first time this year.

The Philharmonia performs AERIALITY
The 2017/18 season of the Philharmonia Orchestra will open with the London premiere of AERIALITY conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Royal Festival Hall on September 28. The concert, which juxtaposes contemporary Icelandic works alongside the sixth and seventh symphonies of Sibelius, is also the opening concert of the Nordic Music Days taking place at the Southbank Centre this autumn.

Since its premiere in 2011, Thorvaldsdottir’s AERIALITY has been performed over 20 times and has been recorded on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Last season the work was performed by the New York Philharmonic, the LA Philharmonic and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. The Washington Post describes AERIALITY as 'a big spinning planet of a work that, to echo Whitman, contains multitudes of ideas within itself, pregnant with promise from the opening whipcrack of percussion and major-key chord that keeps reasserting itself as tendrils of other sounds curl off it like smoke.' This season, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon will also perform the piece.



In the Light of Air at Spitalfields Music Festival
A more intimate side of the composer’s music will be revealed at this year’s Spitalfields Music Festival. Thorvaldsdottir has just been announced Featured Composer at the festival, which takes place in east London from December 2–10. The highlight will be the UK premiere of In the Light of Air by the London Contemporary Orchestra in concerts taking place in Shoreditch Church on December 8 at 8pm and 1.15am.

The piece, for ensemble and electronics features both an installation of metallic ornaments - ‘Klakabönd’ - used also as percussion instruments, and a specially designed lighting installation, responding to the music and the performers' breath, which heightens the immersive and ritualistic quality of the music as it evolves over the course of 45 minutes. The California premiere of In the Light of Air was among The New Yorker's annual selection of notable classical music performances and the 2015 recording of the work on the Sono Luminus label was featured on several year-end lists, including at The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Boston Globe.

In other events taking place at the festival, early music ensemble La Nuova Musica will give the UK premiere of Shades of Silence on December 2. They will be joined by the Erebus Ensemble to perform the choral piece Ad Genua.




About Anna Thorvaldsdottir...
Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir frequently works with large sonic structures in her music that tend to reveal the presence of a vast variety of sustained sound materials, reflecting her sense of imaginative listening to landscapes and nature. Her music tends to portray a flowing world of sounds with an enigmatic lyrical atmosphere.

Her music is performed internationally, and has been featured at several major venues and music festivals such as Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, the Composer Portraits Series at New York's Miller Theatre, the Leading International Composers series at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, Big Ears Festival, ISCM World Music Days, Nordic Music Days, Ultima Festival, Klangspuren Festival, Beijing Modern Music Festival, Reykjavik Arts Festival, Tectonics, and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. She is the recipient of the Nordic Council Music Prize 2012 for her work Dreaming, and The New York Philharmonic's Kravis Emerging Composer Award in 2015. She has recently completed a new work for the New York Philharmonic to be premiered in April 2018.




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