Anna Thorvaldsdottir World Premiere and Creative Chair

Anna Thorvaldsdottir World Premiere and Creative Chair
Left, Harpa Concert Hall; Right, Anna Thorvaldsdottir © Anna Maggy 2019

METAXIS by Anna Thorvaldsdottir will premiere June 1 at Harpa Reykjavik as part of the opening celebration of the Reykjavik Arts Festival. Commissioned by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, METAXIS is an orchestral music installation for deconstructed symphony orchestra in an open space – in this case, the spectacular glass-enclosed foyer of the Harpa concert hall. The orchestra performs a unified score while spread out in different groupings as the audience moves freely around the space. In this way, the listener is invited to actively explore and engage with the building blocks of the music from various perspectives.

In the composer’s words, “The music is often built as various layers of sounds, nuances and harmonies that move between instruments and groups and METAXIS provides a distinctive opportunity for the audience to perceive how these layers literally move between different locations in the space as the materials move between the groups and performers. The audience is also invited to take an active part in exploring the various elements, layers and perspectives in the musical language by literally walking within the musical landscape and to spatially explore how the various materials relate to each other and how they move between performers, creating not only a flow in the music but also a literal flow through the space.”

The world premiere performance will be conducted by Eva Ollikainen, chief conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.  

Later this year, Thorvaldsdottir will be Creative Chair at Tonhalle Zürich for the 2024-25 season. Artistic Director Ilona Schmiel says, “She is someone who is very intensely dedicated to all the processes taking place in the world right now. Nature, to which she turns very consciously, plays an important role. But you always get the feeling that she scrutinises the big issues, the big developments … She writes very clearly what she means.” A programme including 2022’s ARCHORA will open the season, conducted by music director Paavo Järvi.

Creative Chair Performances

September 18-20: Season Opening Concerts, ARCHORA

October 24: Sequences


April 3, 4: METACOSMOS

April 6: Spectra, Fingerprints, Sola, Shades of Silence

June 19: Reflections

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