Iceland Symphony Makes its BBC Proms Debut

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Saturday, August 16 at 7 pm, tune in for episode six of Q2 Music at the Proms, featuring the Iceland Symphony Orchestra performing music by composers Haukur Tómasson and Jón Leifs live at London's Royal Albert Hall.

In recent decades, the Icelandic music scene has become a burgeoning breeding ground for artistic innovation and diversity, but the country is a relatively new producer of European classical music – its first orchestral concerts were put on in 1926 by composer Jón Leifs (1899-1968), perhaps the most recognizable name of Icelandic composers writing in a traditional classical idiom.

This Proms marks the Icelandic Symphony's first appearance at the Royal Albert Hall. Currently under the direction of conductor Ilan Volkov, the orchestra was founded in 1950.

The program pairs Leifs's music with that with modern Iceland composer Haukur Tómasson, whose cinematic 1998 Magma opens the program, which also included selections by Schumann and Beethoven (not included in Q2 Music's coverage of the festival). The evening fittingly closes with Leif's last composition – the 1968 Hughreysting (Consolation) for string orchestra.

Haukur Tómasson - Magma
Jón Leifs - Geysir
Jón Leifs - Hughreysting