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Something Nordic, Celestially Blue


Hildigunnnur Halldórsdóttir,  Iceland



Haukur Tómasson's

Violin Concerto

North American Premiere

ABOUT THE PROGRAM Something Nordic, Celestially Blue



Something Nordic, Celestially Blue should have been performed in the spring of 2020 as the last concert in Cordancia’s 10th anniversary celebration. Due to the pandemic, it was postponed until this fall, 2022. The preceding concerts in the celebration series were titled Something Olde and Something New. 


The works on this program are all by Nordic composers from the countries of Denmark,  Norway, Finland, and Iceland. One of the connecting themes between the works is the relationship between human and nature. In Tómasson’s Violin Concerto, the violin soloist can be thought of as the traveler while the ensemble portrays the landscape. In Rautavaara’s Cantus Arcticus the movements are titled Marsh, Melancholy, and Migrating Swans. The work brings to mind a meditative space in which flocks of birds move in formations, amorphously, like ebb and flow, impacting the observer. Even in Grieg’s simple Lyric Pieces there is a closeness to nature as the titles suggest: The solitary wanderer, Little bird, Butterfly, To spring. In the legend behind Gade’s Ossian Overture we hear (among many other things) about a metamorphosis of a human into a deer, a supernatural transformation, perhaps suggesting blurred boundaries between human and nature. 


In the program there is as well a thread of legend and folk tradition that create a temporal distance to the present and provide us with something elusive and intangible. While in Grieg’s light character pieces we find melodies reminiscent of folk tunes, in Gade’s overture we hear echoes of dark medieval legend, distant tales of love and war, human challenges and mystic transformations. There is here both dichotomy and connection between myth and reality just as there is duality and interrelation between human and nature. 

ABOUT THE SOLOIST Hildigunnnur Halldórsdóttir

Hildigunnur Halldórsdóttir, violinist, studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, finishing her BM and her MM degrees in 1992. Upon her return to her native Iceland, she won a position with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and became a member of the Caput Ensemble, Camerarctica, and the Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra. Hildigunnur has performed as a soloist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra.


Hildigunnur has been a prominent player on the Icelandic new music scene as. She has also performed extensively playing Baroque violin with historical performance ensembles such as Bachsveitin í Skálholti and Reykjavík Barokk. Hildigunnur has made several recordings with the these ensembles and performed at numerous festivals abroad and in Iceland incl. Dark Music Days, Skálholt Summer Concerts, Reykjavík Arts Festival and in the concert series of the Reykjavík Chamber Music Society.  Among the works she has performed with Camerarctica are the complete cycles of string quartets by Béla Bartók and Dmitri Shostakovich. 


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