Iceland Symphony Orchestra
|Original orchestra name:
||Sinfóníuhljómsveit Íslands, Háskólabíó v/Hagatorg Pósthólf 7052
||+354 545 2506
||icelandic, english, danish
Founded in 1950, The Iceland Symphony Orchestra has distinguished itself as one of the leading Nordic orchestras through its acclaimed performances and recordings. The artistic achievement of the ISO is even more remarkable given that in Iceland, the classical music tradition only began in the 20th century. The first concert by a full symphony orchestra was given in 1926, when the Hamburg Philharmonic toured Iceland and Norway under the direction of Icelandic composer Jón Leifs. Around that time, a small ensemble called the Reykjavík Orchestra (Hljómsveit Reykjavíkur) had begun to give concerts in the nation's capital, but it was only in 1950 that the state and municipal authorities, along with the Icelandic Radio, reached an agreement to found a symphony orchestra.
The Iceland Symphony Orchestra consists of 82 full-time members and can be enlarged to 100 players if needed. It gives around 60 concerts each season, including subscription concerts in Reykjavík, family concerts, recordings, and local as well as international tours. It has performed in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Austria, France, and the United States. Its first concert in Carnegie Hall, under the direction of Osmo Vänskä in 1996, proved a defining moment for the orchestra, lauded by Alex Ross of the New York Times for its “staggeringly good” performance.
Visit orchestra`s web site for the full story.