One of Iceland's leading violinists, Ari Þór Vilhjálmsson joined the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in 2006 as Associate Principal Second Violin, and later Acting Principal Second Violin. His studies include the New England Conservatory, Northwestern University and University of Illinois. Currently he serves as Guest 2nd Concertmaster of the Helsinki Philharmonic in Finland, and also appeared as Guest Concertmaster with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse in France. Ari has performed as soloist with the Iceland Symphony and other orchestras concertos by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Shostakovich. Recitals include Emory University in Atlanta and the Reykjavik International Arts Festival.
Áshildur Haraldsdóttir is a member of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School, she was also enrolled in the ‘Cycle de Perfectionnement’ at the Paris Conservatory. Áshildur won first prizes at various competitions including the James Pappoutsakis Competition, the biennial For Young Nordic Soloists; and the International Young Concerts Artists Competition of Royal Tunbridge Wells. A frequent soloist, Áshildur has appeared with orchestras such as the Camerata Roman, London Region Symphonia, KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic, Royal Chamber Orchestra Tokyo, and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
Baldvin Oddsson graduated from Tónskóli Sigursveins with an Advanced level diploma at the age of 15. He has studied since in the United States, first at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, then at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has won numerous competitions including the IAA concerto competition in Michigan, the Young Soloists competition of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist award on behalf of the National Public Radio´s “From the Top” show, broadcast on 250 stations nationwide.
Björg Brjánsdóttir graduated from the Reykjavík College of Music in 2012 and has since then pursued further studies at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo and University of Music and Performing Arts Munich. She has performed with many orchestras and chamber groups, such as Ensemble Caput, The Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, The Icelandic Opera, Neue Philharmonie München and the Military Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces. Björg has performed three times as a soloist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and will perform as a soloist with the Ungfónía Orchestra in Iceland this summer. Björg is also a teacher of Timani, body work for musicians, and a meditation teacher. As a Timani teacher she has given lectures and courses at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich and at the international symphosium Art in Motion in Munich.
Guðmundur Hafsteinsson is a member of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of the Reykjavík College of Music, Guðmundur later studied with Vincent Penzarella of the New York Philharmonic, completing a Master's degree from the State University of New York in 1998. Further studies included Professor Josef Bammer in Vienna. An active performer in Iceland's music scene, Guðmundur also regularly plays with the Icelandic Opera, the CAPUT ensemble and the Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra. He as appeared as soloist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and performed several times at the International Organ Summer festival in Hallgrímskirkja church.
The Icelandic born violinist Guðný Guðmundsdóttir began her violin lessons at the age of 6. After completing her High School in Iceland and studying violin with Björn Ólafsson, at the time theconcertmaster of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra she studied at the Eastman School of Music and the Juilliard School in N.Y.
From 1974 to 2010 she held the post of first concertmaster of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. For over four decades, she has been Iceland’s leading violin teacher and she now leads the violin department of the Iceland Academy of the Arts as well as teaching at the Reykjavík College of Music.
Guðný has given recitals and appeared as a soloist in Iceland, the USA, Mexico, China, Switzerland, Norway, Hong Kong and Puerto Rico amongst others.
As teacher, soloist and chamber musician, she has been invited to numerous festivals in the US and in Europe and has taught at universities including Beijing Conservatory and the University of Houston, Texas.
Gudny has received various awards in recognition of her services to music, including the Icelandic Order of the Falcon in 1989 and the DV Culture Award in 1990. Last spring she was awarded the highest honour from the Icelandic Composers Union for her contribution to Icelandic music.
Hrólfur Sæmundsson completed his Master´s degree at the New England Conservatory in Boston. He has sung in the Concept and Opera Stage in France, Norway, Sweden, Luxemburg, England, Ireland, USA and Germany as well as in Iceland. He has worked mainly in Germany since 2009 and is currently employed by the Opera in Aachen. His CD recordings include: Symphony No. 8 by Gustav Mahler, 2013 (Coviello Classics), Iero Oniro by John Tavener, 2010 (Chester Music), Til Máríu by Gunnar Reynir Sveinsson, 2006 (Smekkleysa). Forthcoming engagements include concerts in Italy, the Netherlands, England, Ireland and Germany.
Jevgenija Frolova is a graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Music and the Latvian National Academy of Music and is currently studying at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. She is co-principal viola at Musica Vitae chamber orchestra in Vaxjo and performs with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Latvian National Chamber Orchestra. She has won prizes and performed solos with orchestras including the Latvian National String competition. In Copenhagen Jevgenija has performed in Tivoli, Glyptoteket and other concert venues. Her active chamber music career includes duo Frolova/Socanski, collaboration with Wonderful Copenhagen agency, as well as in Copenhagen Phil chamber music project concert series. Jevgenija plays on Dom Nicolaus Amati 1701 viola kindly given on loan by the Royal Danish Academy of Music.
Johan Krarup studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock. He has played with the Royal Danish Opera, the National Danish Radio Orchestra, the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra as solo cellist as well as most of the larger orchestras in Denmark. Johan Krarup is a much sought after chamber musician and known from a number of chamber ensembles. He founded the Royal Orchestra String Trio and duo Krarup-Shirinyan both of which won prizes at Denmarks Radio International Chamber Music Competition in 2002 and 2004. Johan is also a member of the Kontra Quartet and the Zapolski Quartet in which he played for more than 10 years. In 2010 Johan founded the Korona Copenhagen Piano Quartet with Pianist Rikke Sandberg.
Jóhann Ingvi Stefánsson began his music studies in Selfoss, graduating in 1992 from the Reykjavík College of Music pedagogical department of brass and woodwinds. He has concertized widely as soloist with orchestras and chamber groups. This includes the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the North Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the Iceland Amateur Symphony Orchestra, the Icelandic Opera, the CAPUT ensemble, the National Theatre, the Reykjavík Big Band and the Suðurland Big Band. Jóhann is the chair of the wind department at the Árnes Music School.
A finalist at the Carl Nielsen International Flute Competition in 2010 and recipient of the James Galway award, Melkorka Ólafsdóttir is a graduate of international conservatories including the Amsterdam Conservatory and the Royal Conservatory in the Hague and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London in 2007. Other awards include the Premier Prix and Prix de Excellence with honors in Paris. Melkorka has performed with Orkester Norden, the Reykjavik Wind Quintet, the Caput Ensemble, Het Nieuw Ensemble, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; orchestral performances include principal flute at the Icelandic Opera Orchestra and co-principal flute and soloist with the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra as well as the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Melkorka has appeared as a soloist with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, the Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra and the Odense Symphony Orchestra. She has performed solo and chamber music around Europe, in Japan and in the USA.
Dr. Nína Margrét Grímsdóttir has established a fine reputation as a performing and recording soloist and chamber musician. She has performed in Europe, USA, Canada, Japan and China, including concertos with the Royal Chamber Orchestra in Tokyo, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra. She has recorded five CDs for Naxos, BIS, Acte Préalable and Skref. Her CD´s and concerts have received excellent reviews in international publications such as Gramophone Awards Issue, BBC Music Magazine, Glasgow Herald, Crescendo-Magazine, Xi´an Evening News and High Fidelity. She holds a D.M.A. degree from the City University of New York.
Joaquin Páll Palomares began playing the violin at the age of 6 with his parents, and made his soloist debut at the age of 11. In 2005 he initiated his studies at Iceland Academy of the Arts and in 2008 at Hochschule für Musik ”Hanns Eisler” in Berlin with Prof. Ulf Wallin. Páll is now in Soloist Class at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with the violinist Serguei Azizian. Prize winner of several competitions in Iceland and Denmark, Páll has performed as soloist with different orchestras in Spain, Iceland, Italy and Denmark.Páll is 2nd violin leader of The Danish Sinfonietta and currently the leader of 2nd violins in the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
Sigurður Bjarki Gunnarsson graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City with a Bachelor´s degree in 1998. Sigurður received a Master´s degree from the Juilliard School in 2000. Sigurður has performed in numerous recitals in Iceland, the UK, the US, Canada and Japan in addition to solo appearances with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra. He has also performed with various chamber ensembles in Scandinavia and in the United States. Sigurður Bjarki has been a member of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra since 2002.
Currently the Acting Principal Cellist of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Sigurgeir Agnarsson joined the orchestra in 2003 as its Associate Principal. A graduate of the Reykjavik College of Music in 1995 he continued his studies at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and the Hochschule für Musik in Düsseldorf. Sigurgeir is Chair of string studies at the Reykjavik College of Music. Solo engagements include ensembles such as the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Bochumer Symphoniker and the Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra and also appears regularly as a chamber musician and recitalist in Iceland and abroad. He has recorded for the Icelandic Broadcasting Service and Naxos. Sigurgeir is Artistic director of the Reykholt Chamber Music Festival, and one of the founders of the Harpa International Music Academy.
Svanur Vilbergsson is considered one of the most promising guitarists of the younger generation. He furthered his music studies at the King Edward VI Community College in Totnes and graduated in 2001 from the departments of music and biology. Subsequently he went to Spain studying at the Escola Luther. In 2002 Svanur began studies with Carlo Marchione at the Maastricht Academy of Music and graduated with a Bachelor´s degree in 2006. The same year he commenced studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague with Enno Voorhorst graduating with a Master´s degree in 2008.
Vera Panitch, born 1993 in Copenhagen, started playing the violin with Arkadi Zelianodjevo, and in 2005 continued with Yuriy Mikhlin in Seattle. At 15 she was admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Music and received her Master’s degree from there with the highest grade. She’s currently studying as Post Graduate with Alexandre Zapolski. Vera has won competitions and received several scholarships and grants. Besides performing as a soloist, Vera is also a great chamber musician as well as playing regularly with different Danish orchestras.Vera is now Co-Principal 2nd violin in Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
Vilhjálmur Ingi Sigurðarson graduated with a Bachelors degree in 2005 from the Norwegian College of Music. He graduated with a Master´s degree in performance in 2008 from the Sibelius Academy of Music. Vilhjálmur has received honors and performed widely as soloist and with orchestras and chamber groups in Iceland and abroad. This includes the Sibelius Academy Orchestra, the Helsinki Opera Orchestra, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the North Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the Icelandic Opera, the Ísafold Chamber Orchestra and the Hexagon Brass Ensemble.
Þóra Einarsdóttir has performed at the Icelandic Opera, Malmo Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, English National Opera, Opera North, Opera Factory, in Mannheim, Nürnberg, Karlsruhe, Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, Berlin, Prag and Salzburg. A member of the ensemble at Hessische Staatstheater Wiesbaden from 2001-2008. Þóra has performed in concerts with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Bach Collegium München, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Philharmonia Orchestra and at the Philharmonie am Gasteig in Munich, London’s Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Barbican Center as well as the Kennedy Center in Washington and the Weil Recital Hall in New York.
Þórunn Ósk Marinósdóttir is the principal violist of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. In Belgium she was the principal violist of the chamber orchestras Prima la Musica, Sebastian Strings and I Fiamminghi with concerts in the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Asia. Þórunn has performed as a soloist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra, Prima la Musica in Belgium and the Sumida Triphony Hall orchestra in Tokyo. Her recordings of Hafliði Hallgrímsson pieces Ombra, concerto for viola and strings with the Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra is published by Smekkleysa with her other CD´s.