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2013/1

The past few months have been a very busy period.

I should have reported earlier on the concert Caput gave with my music on November 30, announced in my last news post. In short a very enjoyable experience for me, and for many a good occasion to get to know my music since these pieces aren’t that often performed in concert here in Iceland. The soloists deserve special praise: Guido Bäumer, saxophone in Brain Trill, Anna Guðný Guðmundsdóttir, piano in O versa and Borgar Magnason, contrabass in Cono di fede. The ensemble was outstanding as always, this time conducted by Guðni Franzson.

Guðni Franzson also conducted the Icelandic premiere of Orgoras Speaks in the Nordic House, Reykjavík, on March 14th. Soloists were the ‘owners’ of the piece, Beate Zelinsky and David Smeyers from Cologne. This marvellous performance secured the piece’s position as one of my very favourite creations.

Time must tell if the same will hold for the piano concerto premiered on April 19 by Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ilan Volkov. The Icelandic title is: Lokalagið úr kvikmyndinni Í draumi sérhvers manns er fall hans falið. Let’s attempt a translation: Final Theme from the film In each mans dream his downfall lurks. This rather lengthy title bears a reference to a poem by major Icelandic modernist poet Steinn Steinarr, but the film quoted in the title actually doesn’t exist. The following link to the performance should be active until the beginning of May 2013 (my piece starts at 19:55 minutes. http://www.ruv.is/sarpurinn/ur-tonlistarlifinu/21042013-0  It was a mighty good performance by Iceland’s greatest talent at the piano and very well received indeed.

The Cottbus Symphony Orchestra has appointed me as one of two composers in residence for the ’13-’14 season (Luis Pena being the other composer). This is part of the orchestra’s Cottbus Sound Lab project, terminating in the premiere of two new orchestra pieces by each composer. It comprises our stay in Cottbus the whole month of September to explore the orchestra during some rehearsal sessions. It is a great opportunity to be able to test some ideas and orchestration before employing them in a score (or abandoning them...). My two new orchestra pieces will be premiered in April and May 2014.