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Reykjavik Concert Hall, Ilan Volkov

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 14 May 2011

Petroc Trelawny visits Reykjavik's new concert hall - Iceland's first purpose built concert hall, and talks to Ilan Volkov, conductor-designate of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.

  • Harpa

    Harpa

    On Music Matters this week Petroc Trelawny travels to Reykjavik to visit Iceland’s new concert hall and conference centre, Harpa.

    Home to the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Icelandic Opera, it is the country’s first purpose built auditorium, containing 3 performance spaces, the largest of which seats 1800. The project started in 2002 when it was agreed that the design, construction and financing of the new hall would be a private enterprise. The financial crash of 2008 however halted progress - the government had to step in and fund the remaining construction. Part of an extensive harbour development project, with a façade designed to deploy natural light and colour, it is hoped that Harpa will become an icon of Iceland’s economic recovery and cultural identity.

    Petroc is shown round the hall by architect Ósbjörn Jacobsen, meets Music Director Steinunn Birna Ragnarsdóttir and talks to ISO Program Director Árni Heimir Ingólfsson and economist Thorvaldur Gylfason about what Harpa means to Iceland today and for the future.

    Plus Minister for Education, Science and Culture Katrín Jakobsdóttir on why the governement stepped in to save the hall, and M.P Kjartan Magnússon on why he voted against the plans for Harpa in 2002 and stands by his decision today.

    Photo: Harpa - Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre © Hörður Sveinsson

    Scroll down the page for more photos from Harpa.

    Find out more about Harpa.
  • Ilan Volkov

    Ilan Volkov

    Israeli conductor Ilan Volkov will begin a 3 year contract as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in September 2011 – the orchestra’s first full season in Harpa. Having led the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra from 2003-2009, he has gone on to work with numerous international orchestras and is also one of the guiding forces behind Levontin 7, a performance venue in Tel Aviv. In Iceland he will curate an annual festival of contemporary music at Harpa, the first taking place in March 2012.

    Ilan talks to Petroc about his passion for contemporary music, the vibrancy of Iceland’s music scene, and his plans to turn the ISO into new-music champions.

    Photo by Simon Butterworth © BBC

    Ilan Volkov conducts the BBC SSO in Hear & Now on Saturday 21st May
  • Guillaume de Machaut

    Guillaume de Machaut

    French poet, composer, and court adviser to the King of Bohemia, Guillaume de Machaut was one of the most creative figures of the late Middle Ages. The first artistically important composer of polyphonic music to be known by name, his output holds a key position in the transition between the new ideas that took hold in the decade around 1300 and the music of the late Middle Ages. A new book by Elizabeth Eva Leach encompasses all aspects of his work, illuminating it in a distinctively interdisciplinary light.

    Petroc meets Elizabeth in Oxford and talks about the significance of music in Machaut’s poetry, and the extent to which musico-literary performance occupied a special place in the courts of fourteenth-century France.

    Photo: “Here begins the Remede de Fortune”. A clerk instructs a child, who is holding the hand of a lady.
    Guillaume de Machaut: the Ferrell-Vogüé MS, f.90r. On loan to the Parker Library, Corpus Christi, Cambridge. Reproduced by kind permission of Elizabeth J. and James E. Ferrell. Digital imaging by DIAMM

    ‘Guillaume de Machaut: Secretary, Poet, Musician’ is available from Cornell University Press
  • Harpa

    Harpa

    Petroc meets economist Thorvaldur Gylfason and Iceland Symphony Orchestra Program Director Árni Heimir Ingólfsson at Harpa.

  • Harpa

    Harpa

    Minister for Education, Science and Culture Katrín Jakobsdóttir

  • Harpa

    Harpa

    Guests entering Harpa - Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre, May 4, 2011 Opening Concert. Photo courtesy of Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre. Photo © Bára Kristinsdóttir.

  • Harpa

    Harpa

    Harpa - Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre, May 4, 2011 Opening Concert, Eldborg Hall. Photo courtesy of Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre. Photo © Bára Kristinsdóttir

  • Harpa

    Harpa

    Vladimir Ashkenazy performing with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Harpa – Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre, May 4, 2011 Opening Concert. Photo courtesy of Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre. Photo © Bára Kristinsdóttir

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