Schola cantorum Reykjavicensis was founded in 1996 by the conductor, Hörður Áskelsson, cantor at Hallgrímskirkja. The choir´s repertoire is wide, ranging from renaissance to contemporary music. The choir appears regularly in the Festival of Sacred Arts at Hallgrímskirkja and has given concerts in Norway, Finland, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Japan.
Schola cantorum has participated in recordings of choral-orchestral works by Icelandic composer Jón Leifs (1899-1968) as well as having recorded and performed with artists such as Björk, Sigur Rós and Swedish experimental band Wilbird & Peacedrums.
White Monday 6. June at 8:00 pm
Permiere at Reykjavik Arts Festival 2022
Tuesday 14. June at 8:00 pm
The Gospel of Mary by Hugi Guðmundsson
Location: Frederiksberg Kirke - Copenhagen
Tuesdagur 6. September at 8:00 pm
Location: Oslo Cathedral
Future projects: The Premiere of Gospel of Mary by Hugi Guðmundsson
Various interesting projects are planned for the year 2022. The next project on the agenda is the premiere of a new oratorio, The Gospel of Mary by Hugi Guðmundsson. The work is written especially for Schola Cantorum, soprano soloist and orchestra. It tells the story of Mary Magdalene, but the Gospel, which is based on fragments of manuscripts that were not discovered until around the turn of the century 1900, illustrates the important position of women in the early Christian congregation. There, Mary occupies an even higher position than the disciples. This is a piece of music that has never been heard before and can be seen as a counterbalance to all the oratorios that have been composed in honor of evangelists throughout history.
The premiere will take place at the Reykjavík Art Festival in beginning of June and joining us will be the Oslo Sinfonietta and soprano Berit Norbakken. The event takes place in Hallgrímskirkja and is organized by the Friend of the Arts Society in Reykjavik. The work will then be performed at the KLANG music festival in Copenhagen on June 10, together with the Aarhus Sinfonietta, and subsequently recorded in Denmark. Finally, on September 6, the work will be performed in Oslo Cathedral in Norway.
The project as a whole is managed by the Reykjavík Friends of the Arts Society, which originally commissioned the work from Hugi and organizes the project in collaboration with the Reykjavík Art Festival, Oslo Sinfonietta and Aarhus Sinfonietta.
Monday 23. May 2022
Spring is in the air for Schola Cantorum
- Main news and upcoming projects
Last year: New album and a concert in the middle of a pandemic
As so many artists have experienced, the past two years have been highly unusual and the pandemic has affected various projects for Schola Cantorum. However, the ensemble did not give up and during this time we managed to record a high-quality album, In Paradisum, with many magnificent choral works. Recordings took place in Skálholt in the autumn of 2021 under the faithful guidance of Hörður Áskelsson. The album's repertoire includes Icelandic and foreign choral works from the 20th and 21st centuries, composed for performance without accompaniment by well-known contemporary composers such as John Tavener, Daniel Elder, Pawel Lucaszewsky, Haukur Tómasson, Þóra Marteinsdóttir and Hreiðar Ingi Þorsteinsson. The distinguished publishing company BIS will release the album and it is expected to come out later this year. The German tonmeister Jens Ulrich Braun was in charge of the recording. The choir celebrated a successful recording weekend by performing the program of the album at a concert in Háteigskirkja on the 26th of September 2021.
Schola Cantorum participated in the Hafnarborg Song Festival in Hafnarfjörður last summer and performed in front of a full house, when the virus subsided temporarily. It was really a great experience to finally be able to sing in front of an audience after a long break due to Covid restrictions. The concert was entitled Vinaspegill (Friends‘ mirror) and the reception was very good. The group enjoyed performing Icelandic choral works, classical pearls but also new works specially composed for the group, including three works with texts from Hávamál (a collection of Old Norse poems) about friendship, by the composers Gunnar Andreas Kristinsson, Hreiðar Ingi Þorsteinsson and Hugi Guðmundsson.
The situation of Schola Cantorum has changed dramatically, as it is no longer based in Hallgrímskirkja, the choir's homeground for 25 years. Since its inception, the choir has enjoyed singing in the wonderful sound of the Hallgrim‘s church, but is now embarking on new adventures continuing on the path of its valuable experience. Rehearsals have taken place in Neskirkja and Fríkirkjan in Reykjavík this winter, and Schola Cantorum would like to thank the representatives there for their unique kindness and warmth.