Composer of the Week: Icelandic music on BBC Radio 3

Each day of this week, the programme Composer of the Week on BBC Radio 3 will explore Icelandic music.









Listeners can tune in on BBC Radio 3 at 12:00 every day this week and explore the roots of Icelandic music with presenter Donald Macleod, who recently visited Iceland. Donald started by discussing the music of Iceland's earlier composers of the 20th century, such as "Iceland's Sibelius" Jón Leifs (1899-1968), Sigvaldi Kaldalóns (1881-1946) and Sveinbjörn Sveinbjörnsson, who composed the national anthem, Ó, Guð vors lands.

With each episode, he will move closer to the latter part of the 20th century and explore the works of Atli Heimir Sveinsson, Jórunn Vidars and Iceland's most famous music export, Björk. Lastly, he will introduce works by contemporary composers, such as Haflidi Hallgrímsson, Daníel Bjarnason and Valgeir Sigurdsson. Donald also met with Icelandic musicologist Árni Heimir Ingólfsson, who wrote the biography of Jón Leifs, to discuss the works of Jón Leifs and the influence of Iceland's ancient folk music on its classical tradition.

"For more than a millenium, Iceland's composers have drawn upon the sounds of its unique geology: sounds created in a glacial geothermal landscape like nowhere else on earth. Searing water explodes from fissuers; the earth steams spongily underfoot; vast, electric-blue hunks of solid ice crack and collide as they bob down otherwise silent fjords. Yet, Iceland's classical music tradition remains barely known". 

From 9 - 13 December 2013
For a full episode guide and to listen online, click here.


Video Gallery

View more videos