Concerts

Of saga and song, murder and dance

A bit different event consisting of culture elements usually not performed together. Here you will enjoy classical singing and piano-playing on a high international level as well as modern dance, contemporary music combined with short historical inputs based on the close relationship between Norway and Iceland in earlier centuries.

Furthermore, you will hear about the author of Norway's early history, a historian who unluckily caused the death of a person under very unusual circumstances....

Some of the most beautiful songs by Edvard Grieg and by Icelandic composer Sigvaldi Kaldalóns will be performed. Lára Stefánsdóttir, who has a number of international awards as a choreographer, has created two powerful works for the dancer, for which music is provided by the musician and composer Guðni Franzson.

Salurinn, Kópavogi
Iceland
Salurinn, Kópavogi

Sunday, 27. febrúar - 17:00

Menningarhúsið Hof, Akureyri
Iceland
Menningarhúsið Hof, Akureyri

Sunday, 27. mars - 15:00

Edinborgarhúsið, Ísafirði
Iceland
Edinborgarhúsið, Ísafirði

Saturday, 2. april - 17:00

Norkirken, Drammen
Norway
Norkirken, Drammen

Saturday, 21. mai - 18:30

Sentralen, Oslo
Norway
Sentralen, Oslo

Sunday, 29. mai - 17:00

We will plant a tree for every ticket sold

About TonSagaNor

We want to take care of and share the cultural heritage of the Nordic countries, with emphasis on the countries‘ cultural ties and common history. We do this by using many different art forms such as music, acting, song, dance, and literature and let them meet and exchange ideas but also intertwine and create something exciting together when relevant. Through a broad variety of art in our events, an attempt is made to move the viewer to give thought to the history and culture in which we live and exist, to understand from where it originates and at the same time have a pleasant time.

Artists

Icelandic tenor Kolbeinn Jon Ketilsson commenced his training at Reykjavik’s New Music School before continuing his studies with Professor Leopold Spitzer in Vienna, going on to receive the opera diploma from the city’s University for music and performing arts.

Since beginning his career, he has performed throughout Europe and participated in numerous radio, CD and TV recordings. Ketilsson made his professional operatic debut at the Prague State Opera as Alfredo and has gone on to amass a diverse repertoire including Hoffmann, Macduff, Radamès, Rodolfo, Enée, Bacchus, Sergei, Tamino, Erik, Max, Don José, Pinkerton and Cavaradossi etc. An extensive concert repertoire includes Beethoven’s Symphony No 9, Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mahler´s Das Lied von der Erde as well as the Dvoràk and Verdi Requiems.

Ketilsson was engaged in 1997 by the Theatre of Dortmund, and from 1998 to 2000 was a member of the ensemble of the Cologne Opera before pursuing his freelance career. He enjoyed particular success as Don José at Brussels’ La Monnaie, conducted by Antonio Pappano, as well as at the Grand Théâtre Genève, and with his début at both the Salzburg Festival and l’Opera National de Paris as Énée in Berlioz’ Les Troyens. Further appearances to date have included Der Freischütz in Frankfurt, Pinkerton in Essen, Der Fliegende Holländer in Karlsruhe and at the Icelandic Music Festival, Bacchus with both l’Opéra du Rhin and l’Opéra de Lausanne, Radamès in Göteborg and Copenhagen, Florestan in Gothenburg and Marseille, Königskinder at the San Carlo Opera in Napoli, Don Carlos at the Royal Opera Copenhagen, Die Frau ohne Schatten in Göteborg, Brussels, Helsinki and Dresden, Ariadne auf Naxos at the Reykjavik Opera and Lausanne, Cherubini’s Medea at the Hellenic Festival, Carmen in Valencia. Previous seasons have included debuts of 5 of Wagner’s most demanding tenor roles namely Tristan, Tannhäuser, Parsifal, Lohengrin and Rienzi as well as making house debuts with the Canadian Opera Company as Florestan/Fidelio and Peter Grimes in Torino.

Ketilsson has sung under the baton of conductors like Antonio Pappano, Jeffrey Tate, Lorin Maazel, Fabio Luisi, Sylvain Cambreling, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Jesús López Cobos, Philippe, Auguin, Bertrand de Billy ,Bruno Bartoletti, Kjell Ingebretsen, Vladimir Askenazy og Kent Nagano and has collaborated with directors Philipp Himmelmann, Werner Schroeter, Jonathan Miller, Christof Loy, Günter Krämer, Werner Hernicke, Carlos Saura, John Dew, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Paul Currain, Bentein Baardson og Willy Decker, to name a few.

Having recently graduated with a DipRAM award from the Royal Academy of Music Thormod Rønning Kvam enjoys the creativity involved in being a musician of the 21st century. He is convinced that the key to success is to explore what really resonates within us—and communicating it.

Launching his first concert series in the midst of the pandemic, 2020 marked a new high point in his career. Further recent highlights include solo and chamber music performances in London's Wigmore Hall, Harpa in Reykjavik, the Norwegian Opera, Stockholm Concert House, and at Hardanger Musikkfest.

Thormod is Artistic Director of Aulaseriene, a new year-round chamber music series to which he invites established as well as young artists. Based in the historically renowned Oslo University Aula and at the newly opened Munch-destination Ramme in Hvitsten, Thormod believes that classical music gains from being contextualized and presented together with a variety of arts.

In recognition of his musicianship, Thormod has been granted numerous prizes and scholarships. Recently he won the Musician of the Year prize from the Forsberg and Aulie Foundation, one of Norway’s most acknowledged grants for young artists.

From 2010, Thormod commenced his undergraduate studies at the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo under Prof. Jirí Hlínka. In 2015 he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Music, studying Master of Arts under Prof. Christopher Elton and Diana Ketler as well as Professional Diploma, graduating with distinction and a DipRAM award in 2019.

Thormod has also studied and attended masterclasses with pianists such as Gordon Back, Leif Ove Andsnes, Jens Harald Bratlie, Liv Glaser, Christian Ihle Hadland, Håvard Gimse, Wolfgang Plagge, Erling R. Eriksen, Hamish Milne, Gabriela Montero, Cristina Ortiz, Simon Trpçeski, Jeffrey Swann, and others.

Matthildur Anna Gísladóttir Born in Iceland, Matthildur Anna Gísladóttir graduated with a BMus degree in Performance from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2007. She continued her studies with Andrew West at the Royal Academy of Music in London, graduating with an MA degree in Piano Accompaniment. Matthildur graduated with MMus in Repetiteurship from the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in June 2014. During her studies, she was on a full scholarship and was also awarded the James H. Geddes Répétiteur Prize. Matthildur has been involved in opera productions with The Icelandic Opera, British Youth Opera, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Clonter Opera, Edinburgh Grand Opera, Lyric Opera Studio Weimar, Scottish Opera and Royal Academy Opera. Matthildur now works as an accompanist and a coach at The Iceland University of Arts.

Pétur Eggerz Pétur Eggerz studied acting in London. He has participated in a large number of performances with Akureyri Acting Company, The National Theatre, Alþýðuleikhúsið, Leikfélagi Reykjavíkur, and others. He has also appeared regularly in films and television productions.

Pétur was one of the co-founders of Möguleikhúsið (Theatre of possibilities) 1990 and worked there for almost thirty years as an actor, director, and author. From 1995 he has together with Guðni Franzson organized and played all 13 Yulelads of Iceland (Christmas elves or Santa Clauses) when they are coming to town in Iceland. Those events find place annually at the Þjóðminjasafn Íslands (The National Museum of Iceland).

Marinó Máni Mabazza Marinó Máni Mabazza is a professional dancer with 10 years of experience who graduated from the Icelandic Dance Academy in the spring of 2021 and specializes in modern dance and gymnastics. He began his dance career at a young age and joined the musical Billy Elliot from 2014 to 2016, after which he has performed in numerous shows, music videos, and commercials. He has worked with the Icelandic dance company in various works such as "The great gathering" which was released in 2018.

Marinó competed in modern dance for Iceland in 2019 in the Dance World Cup and won 4th place. Along with dance, he has practiced gymnastics and various other sports since his childhood, as he is currently studying sports science at Reykjavík University. Marinó is also a trainer at the movement gym Primal Iceland and at the taekwondo club Mudo Gym.

Lára Stefánsdóttir Lára Stefánsdóttir graduated from The Icelandic National Ballet School in the late nineteenths. She did further dance training in Kuopio, Dresden, Cologne and Copenhagen. She worked as a dancer with Iceland Dance Company (ÍD) over 20 years and danced many leading roles.

In 1995, the well known Swedish choreographer, Per Jonsson made a solo piece For Lára, which she later danced on many occasions f. ex. Dancing North in Barcelona 1995. Among international choreographers she has worked with are; Jorma Uotinen, Jirí Kylián, Rui Horta, Jochen Ulrich, Richard Wherlock, Ed Wubbe and Jo Strömgren.

She has been awarded many grants and prices for her work. To mention some; 1998, first price at the choreographic competition, City Theatre in Reykjavik. 2001; the duet Elsa, first price at the International Choreographic Competition in Helsinki, Finland. 2002 her piece Joi received 1st price at The 6th International Solo-Dance-Theatre festival in Stuttgart, Germany. June 2004, the work Luna (2004) received the Icelandic award called Griman.

Lara’s choreography has been performed worldwide in Europe, Asia, S-Africa and USA.

Guðni Franzson is active in Icelandic music life, educated as clarinetist from The Netherlands, receiving among others Léonie Sonnings price during his studies. He has a carrier as a soloist on international scale, specially in the field of contemporary music.

Guðni has been working as a composer, with main focus on music for theatre and dance. At the moment he mainly works as a conductor with Caput which he co-founded in 1988, touring internationally and recording but also conducing orchestras and ensembles in Northern Europe, Icl. Icelandic Symphony Orch., Vaasa and Pori Orchestras in Finland, Esbjerg Ensemble in Denmark.

Guðni has worked closely with most Icelandic composers, among them his daughter and Oscar winner Hildur Guðnadóttir and Golden Globe winner late Johann Johannsson. Guðni is active as a music educator running Tóney, centre for creative music education.

Composers of the songs

Sigvaldi Kaldalóns , an Icelandic composer and doctor, was born in Reykjavik on the 13th of januarry 1881. He was the son of Stefán Egilsson, a mason, and Sesselju Sigvaldadóttir, a midwife. He attended Lærðu School, matriculating in 1902 and then gained a diploma in medicine in 1908 from the medical school in Reykjavik. He then travelled to Denmark, where he graduated in Copenhagen. On 16 September 1909 he married Karen Margrethe Mengel Thomsen, a Danish nurse.

As Sigvaldi and his wife moved to Nauteyrahéraði in the Icelandic Westfjords 1910, he took the family name Kaldalóns, named after a nearby area in the Ísafjarðardjup where he lived. Unlike the avant-garde composers of his day, he wrote in a traditional romantic style and composed many of Iceland's most famous and widely performed songs, many of which are now wrongly assumed to be folk songs. His particular skill was in capturing the spirit of poems in his melodies, making him Iceland's foremost lyric composer.

1917 Sigvaldi got infected with typhoid fever from which he never fully recovered. He died in Reykjavik on the 28th of july 1946.

Edvard Hagerup Grieg, born in Bergen, Norway on the 15th of june 1843, was a norwegian composer an pianist. He was raised in a musical family. His mother was his first piano teacher and taught him to play at the age of six. During the summer of 1858, Grieg met the eminent Norwegian violinist Ole Bull, who was a family friend that persuaded his parents to send him to the Leipzig Conservatory.

In 1863, Grieg went to Copenhagen, Denmark, and stayed there for three years. He met the Danish composers J. P. E. Hartmann and Niels Gade. He also met his fellow Norwegian composer Rikard Nordraak (composer of the Norwegian national anthem). Nordraak died in 1866, and Grieg composed a funeral march in his honor. On 11 June 1867, Grieg married his first cousin, Nina Hagerup (1845–1935), a lyric soprano. During the summer of 1868, Grieg wrote his Piano Concerto in A minor while on holiday in Denmark.

1897, Franz Liszt and Grieg met in Rome. During his second visit in April, Grieg brought with him the manuscript of his Piano Concerto, which Liszt proceeded to sightread (including the orchestral arrangement).

Grieg composed the incidental music for Peer Gynt at the request of the author (Henrik Ibsen), contributed to its success, and has separately become some of the composer's most familiar music arranged as orchestral Suites. On 6 December 1897, Grieg and his wife performed some of his music at a private concert at Windsor Castle for Queen Victoria and her court.

Grieg was awarded two honorary doctorates, first by the University of Cambridge in 1894 and the next from the University of Oxford in 1906.

Edvard Grieg died in Bergen, Norway, on 4 September 1907 at age 64 from heart failure. His last words were "Well, if it must be so." The funeral drew between 30,000 and 40,000 people to the streets of his hometown to honor him. His ashes were entombed in a mountain crypt near his house, Troldhaugen.

Grieg´s music was inspired by Norwegian folksongs and was in the spirit of the romantic era, colored by Norwegian nature and national independent movements.