For decades, half a century really, this tradition of University concerts has been alive at the University of Iceland. These are monthly events during autumn and spring semester, and take place in University buildings.
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen, adjunct in Social Sciences, has been the organiser and artistic director since the autumn of 2020 and is guided by the slogan "University for all - Music for all". Arnar says he takes his slogan seriously and will seek collaboration with musicians in diverse genres, such as pop/rock, jazz, classical music or just what is promising at each point in time. He will, furthermore, place special emphasis on supporting young and up-coming artists and will seek to premiere new pieces.
All concerets will be prodcast in a live stream during the autumn semester 2020 and spring semester 2021; with or without audince in line with the restrictions on social gaterhings in place at each point in time.
The following artists performend during the academic year 2020-2021. The concerts usually begin at 12.15 and last half an hour.
Mikael Máni - 21 October at the University's Aula
The jazz guitarist Mikeal Máni and his band performed a few songs of his album published earlier this year. This young and upcoming musician has received a lot of praise for his music recently, both in Iceland and abroad.
Dymbrá - 11 November in the University's Aula.
The youngsters in Dymbrá performed in the second University concert in the University Aula. Dymbrá became popular at a music contest for teenagers in 2018 (Músíktilraunir).
The band members are Nína Solveig Andersen, Eir Ólafsdóttir and Eyrún Úa Þorbjörnsdóttir. Eir plays the cello, Nina the violin and Eyrún the flute, they, however, they mix it with technology and less conventional instruments. The band members are now, two years later, only 18 years old but have already published an album that features dark and dreamy chamber music. The album has a hauntingly beautiful folkish aura to it. The songs are have clear melodic structured, but they are regularly broken up with electrical beats and other experimental elements. The mood is mythical in certain chapters.
Umbra - 16 December in the University Chapel.
The band Umbra provided the Christmas spirit with old and new Christmas carols, performed in their own unique way, at the University concert in the University of Iceland Chapel. Umbra was formed in the autumn of 2014 by four professional musicians and is known for their unique approach to this art form that is music. The band members are Alexandra Kjeld (contrabass and song), Arngerður María Árnadóttir (organ, song and the Celtic harp), Guðbjörg Hlín Guðmundsdóttir (violin and song), and Lilja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir (song and percussion). The band has performed at numerous concerts and festivals as well as issuing albums. Two years ago they issued the album Sólhvörf with new and unique arrangements of old and new Christmas carols.
Kælan Mikla - 28 January at the University's Aula
The band Kælan Mikla performed at the first University concert this year in the Aula.
The band members are Sólveig Matthildur, Margrét Rósa and Laufey Soffía, and the band has grown considerably since it was founded in 2013 due to their admirable perseverance and vision. What began as a happening at a poetry slam is today a renowned band that tours internationally with fans all over the world. The buzz around Kælan has been so loud that Robert Smith from The Cure hand picked the band to warm up for him at a concert in Hyde Park in 2018.
Kælan Mikla plays Gothic dark pop and is known for their visual and passionate performances. This is an amazing opportunity for fans of the University Concert; not to be missed!
Sóley - 24 February at the University Centre
The musician Sóley performed with a band; broadcast live from the University Centre.
This artist appeared on the scene in 2010 when she released her album Theater Island and soon after she also made her mark abroad with her unique artistic vision. Her albums have been released globally, she has performed all over the world and has a dedicated group of followers both in Iceland and overseas.
The music and concerts with Sóley are unforgettable and should not be missed.
Krummi - 24 March at the Student Cellar
The musician Krummi Björgvinsson performed with his band at the University Concert in the Student Cellar and for the first time this academic year an audience was allowed at a University Concert, but there was also a live stream.
Krummi Björgvinsson has been on the music scene for two decades and was the leader of the band Mínus at the turn of the century. Krummi is a versatile musician and has taken part in various and quite diverse music projects. As a solo artist he has chosen the path of country, folk, and blues. His first solo album will be released this spring. Krummi's songs have been heard over the airwaves lately, and is exciting to hear them in a cosy venue as the Student Cellar.
The quartet Strokkkvartettinn Siggi - 30 April at Litla-Torg
The quartet, Strokkkvartettinn Siggi, closed the University Concert series this academic year with a concert at the University Centre's Litla-Torg on Friday 30 April at 12.15. There was a live stream of the concert due to current social restrictions.
Siggi's quartet was put together in 2012 and has been prominent in concerts ever since playing Beethoven and Shostakovich as well as numerous new pieces written especially for Siggi. The artists in the quartet are also active soloists and chamber musicians and are members of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra. The members of the quartet are Una Sveinbjarnardóttir and Helga Þóra Björgvinsdóttir on violin, Þórunn Ósk Marinósdóttir, viola and Sigurður Bjarki Gunnarsson, cello.
IMGES TAKEN BY KRISTINN INGVARSSON AT THE UNIVERSITY CONCERTS 2020-2021