Vikingur Ólafsson

Solistur, Piano

Heystkonsert í september 2018

Possessing a rare combination of passionate musicality, explosive virtuosity and intellectual curiosity, Víkingur is an artist who constantly seeks new ways to engage with his audience.

Passionate about music from the Renaissance to the present day, Víkingur has performed over 20 piano concertos and collaborated with such conductors as Vladimir Ashkenazy (with whom Víkingur inaugurated Reykjavík’s Harpa Concert House), Petri Sakari, Rumon Gamba, Ilan Volkov and Pietari Inkinen, and orchestras including Turku Philharmonic, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra and Iceland Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at various music festivals, including Busoni (Bolzano), MITO (Milano), Nordic Cool (Washington DC), Vinterfest (Sweden) and Stavanger (Norway). Over the past few years, Víkingur has built up fruitful relationships with artists and audiences around the world, and is quickly establishing an international reputation as a charismatic performer of great artistic integrity.

Outside the concert stage, Víkingur is the driving force behind numerous innovative musical projects. Most recently, these include the 10 episode television series, Útúrdúr (Out-of-tune), produced for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service in 2013-14, and broadcast to unanimous critical and public acclaim. The series brought together the insights of high-calibre musicians, artists and academics across fields, welcoming new audiences to the art form with lively performances, interviews and demonstrations at the keyboard. Exploring topics ranging from Neanderthal musicality to natural harmonies in Ligeti’s horn trio, guests included such artists as Alfred Brendel, Martin Fröst, Dalton Baldwin and Paul Jacobs along with academics including paleoanthropologist Steven Mithen and philosopher Roger Scruton.

Víkingur is the founder and artistic director of Reykjavík Midsummer Music, taking place annually around summer solstice in Reykjavík’s Harpa Concert House. Selected as “Musical event of the year 2012” at the Icelandic Music Awards in its first year, the festival has continued to thrive since its inception, attracting international soloists and presenting inventive concert programming and collaborations across art forms.

Víkingur founded his own record label, Dirrindí, in 2009 and has released 3 albums to date. The first two were solo albums; Debut, (showing “exceptional perception and depth of maturity” – EPTA Journal) and Chopin-Bach (prompting Piano News Magazine to print “Immense talent … you must listen to this young pianist!”). His third album was a double CD/DVD release of Winterreise with bass Kristinn Sigmundsson, which won the Album of the Year award at the Icelandic Music Awards 2012.

Víkingur grew up in Iceland where he studied with Erla Stefánsdóttir and Peter Máté. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald. Víkingur’s awards and recognitions include seven Icelandic Music awards and The Icelandic Optimism Prize 2009, awarded by the presidential office to an outstanding artist in any field.

http://vikingurolafsson.com/the-biography