Miller Theatre to Present Composer Portrait of Iceland's Anna Thorvaldsdottir, 12/5
Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts continues the 2013-14 Composer Portraits series with ANNA THORVALDSDOTTIR, a rare hearing of the Icelandic artist's soundscapes, featuring:
ZEENA PARKINS, harp
DAVID SHIVELY, percussion
RICHARD CARRICK, conductor
The concert is set for Thursday, December 5, 2013, 8:00 p.m. at Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway at 116th Street). Tickets: $20-$30 • Students with valid ID: $12-$18.
From Miller Theatre Executive Director Melissa Smey: "In just the past year or so, I've had numerous people recommend Anna Thorvaldsdottir's music to me, and now, in the wake of the extraordinary success of her album Rhíz?ma, I am absolutely thrilled to present a Portrait of her work. This will be one of the first concerts in the U.S. dedicated solely to Thorvaldsdottir, and it is comprised almost entirely of pieces never before performed in New York. With the inimitable ensemble Either/Or on stage and long-time Miller collaborator Richard Carrick at the helm, this concert is sure to be a remarkable evening."
Miller Theatre's "ever-intriguing" (The New Yorker) signature series continues to celebrate the best contemporary composers from around the globe-emerging and established-with evening-length musical profiles. This season, all seven composers will participate in onstage discussions during their Portraits.
Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir has burst onto the scene in recent years. Her "shimmering, harmonically ambiguous" music is oft described in cinematic terms, evoking an expansive, wintry landscape with "the impression of a distant, howling wind" (The New York Times). Her 2011 album Rhíz?ma won international accolades, earning places on best-of lists from New York and Chicago to the Nordic countries. Either/Or plays a favorite from that record, Hrím, alongside several pieces never before heard in the U.S.
into - second self (2013) - U.S. premiere
Ró/Serenity (2013) - U.S. premiere
[one] (2008) - U.S. premiere
Tactility (2012) - New York premiere
Zeena Parkins, harp
David Shively, percussion
Richard Carrick, conductor
Anna Thorvaldsdottir (b. 1977): Anna Thorvaldsdottir is an Icelandic composer who frequently works with large sonic structures 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.
Anna's music is frequently performed in Europe and in the U.S., and has been featured at several major music festivals such as ISCM World Music Days, Nordic Music Days, and Ultima Festival. Her works have been nominated and awarded on many occasions. Her chamber orchestra piece Hrím was awarded Composition of the Year at the Icelandic Music Awards 2011, as well as the International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition 2011. At the Icelandic Music Awards 2012, Anna was awarded Composer of the Year and her debut album Rhíz?ma was awarded Classical/Contemporary Album of the Year. Anna is the recipient of the Nordic Council Music Prize 2012 for her work Dreaming.
The Iceland Symphony Orchestra has premiered and recorded four of Anna's orchestra pieces, conducted by Ilan Volkov, Christian Lindberg, Rumon Gamba, Daniel Bjarnason, and Bernhardur Wilkinson. The noted Icelandic CAPUT Ensemble has also premiered and recorded major works by Anna, conducted by Snorri Sigfus Birgisson. Other ensembles that Anna has worked with include BIT20, Musiques Nouvelles, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Her most recent piece for orchestra, AERIALITY, was commissioned by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and premiered in November 2011, conducted by Ilan Volkov.
Anna holds a Ph.D. from the University of California in San Diego. At UCSD she primarily worked with Rand Steiger and Lei Liang, as well as with Chinary Ung, Philippe Manoury, Roger Reynolds, and percussionist Steven Schick.
Anna's debut portrait album - Rhíz?ma - was released in October 2011 through Innova Recordings. The album features three larger pieces for orchestra and chamber orchestra, including Dreaming, and five shorter movements from a solo percussed piano work. The pieces are performed by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Bjarnason, the CAPUT Ensemble, conducted by Snorri Sigfus Birgisson, and percussionist Justin DeHart. Rhíz?ma was very well received and in addition to being selected as Classical/Contemporary Album of the Year at the Icelandic Music Awards 2012, the album also appeared on a number of "Best of 2011" lists, including those by Time Out New Yorkand Time Out Chicago.