Celebrating the 80th birthday on January 31 of the legendary Philip Glass, Deutsche Grammophon has released a new album of the music of the founder of minimalist music by DG debut artist pianist Víkingur Ólafsson.
A year ago Philip Glass handpicked some pianists to perform all of his Etudes together at the Barbican in London. Víkingur Ólafsson was one of them and according to the press he was “the highlight of the evening” (Sean and Heard International).
Víkingur Ólafsson is an up-and-coming pianist of technical sublimity and remarkable entrepreneurial abilities. Along with a busy performing career, he is Artistic Director to both the Vinterfest in Sweden and the Reykjavík Midsummer Music. Besides his career as a traditional concert pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has also collaborated with a range of contemporary composers and artists like Olafur Arnalds and Björk.
In a similarly experimental vein this album includes reworks besides the originals for solo piano in a captivating string quartet arrangement.
The album was recorded in Reykjavik’s Harpa, an impressive, state-of-the-art concert hall with a famous glass exterior, designed by Icelandic artist Ólafur Elíasson and completed in 2011.