Reykjavik Revels in Darkness with Dark Music Days 2024

Iceland Reykjavik Dark Days Music festival
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Iceland Reykjavik Dark Days Music festival
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Photo Credit: Neil Mark Thomas

Reykjavik revels in darkness for the 43rd annual Dark Music Days festival, held this year between January 24-28.

It’s the darkest time of year in Iceland’s capital, lending a perfect time to celebrate the native sounds of the island, as well as international musicians who have traveled to serenade the land of ice and fire.

The festival’s main focus is new Icelandic works, but the Dark Music Days festival presents both Icelandic and international contemporary music in the renowned Harpa Concert Hall and other prominent venues around Reykjavik. Some of the highlights for 2024 include Gyða Valtýsdóttir, Ragga Gísla, GROWL POWER – The music of Bára Gísladóttir, Cantoque Ensemble´s portrayal of Thorkell Sigurbjörnsson through his choral works, and Iceland Symphony Orchestra’s premiere of The Wanderer Symphony.

The Dark Music Days 2024 festival will feature over 20 events on its program this year, hosting prominent Icelandic composers and artists, as well as international guests who are excited to perform and experience other world-class performances.

The festival is held by the Icelandic Composers Society in collaboration with Iceland Music, Reykjavik Music City, and Harpa Concert Hall with generous support by the Icelandic National Music Fund.

Dark Music Days 2024 Performances

January 24

  • Stirni Ensemble performs works by Kolbeinn Bjarnason, among others.
  • Lunacy: A Joyous Play | Opera by Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson
  • Growl Power | Björg Brjánsdóttir flutist performs 4 solo pieces for flutes by Bára Gísladóttir

January 25

  • Algerving | Multimedia installation by Atli Ingólfsson
  • Glerhúsið | Exhibition
  • Sinfóníuhljómsveit Íslands | Works by Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir, Þuríður Jónsdóttir, Finnur Karlsson and Icelandic Love Cooperation: Eirún Sigurðardóttir and Jóní Jónsdóttir with Ólafur Björn Ólafsson and Una Sveinbjarnardóttir
  • untitled | Ensemble Adapter performs Davíð Brynjar Fransson

January 26

  • No more no less | EKKI MINNA perfroms works by Franz Schubert, Christian Winther Christensen, Mads Emil Dreyer, Johannes Kreidler, Áslaugu Magnúsdóttir & Mia Ghabarou
  • Skerpla | Music by Pauline Oliveros
  • Ragga Gísla X Cauda Collective | Cauda Performs Works by Ragnhildur Gísladóttir
  • Caput | Caput performs works by Hafdís Bjarnadóttir, Páll Ragnar Pálsson, Úlfur Eldjárn, Þorkell Nordal and Cameron Anderton

January 27

  • Soundbath | Soundbath for families
  • MíT | Works by Björk and María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir
  • R * O * R | Gyða Valtýsdóttir and Úlfur Hansson
  • S.L.Á.T.U.R. | S.L.Á.T.U.R. performs works by S.L.Á.T.U.R.
  • Fidelio Trio | Works by Ailís Ní Ríain,Simon Mawhinney, Anna Clyne, Hafliði Hallgrímsson, Lilja María Ásmundsdóttir Claudia Molitor and Una Sveinbjarnardóttir
  • Kammersveit Reykjavíkur | Works by Karólína Eiríksdóttir, Finnur Karlsson, Áskell Másson and Kaija Sarriaho

January 28

  • Pauline Oliveros | Conference in cooperation with Iceland University of the Arts
  • Contemporary Piano Currents | Works for piano and electronics by Kolbeinn Bjarnason, Olga Neuwirth, Oliver Sascha Frick, Kaija Saariaho and Yamamoto/Frick
  • Cantoque sings Thorkell | Cantoque Ensemble performs choir works by Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson. Conducter: Steinar Lgi Helgason
  • Lunacy: a Joyous Play | Opera by Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson