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Víkingur Ólafsson

Víkingur Ólafsson appointed Artistic Director of Vinterfest

30 March 2015

Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has been appointed Artistic Director of Sweden’s Vinterfest. The two-year term will start at the beginning of the 2015/16 season. 

Víkingur made his debut at Vinterfest in 2011 as soloist in Nino Rota’s Piano Concerto in C major and has played in Dalarna a number of times with the Dalasinfoniettan. He also makes regular appearances at other major international festivals, including Busoni, MITO SettembreMusica and Nordic Cool, as well as Reykjavík’s Midsummer Music of which he is Founder and Artistic Director.

Víkingur commented: “I am excited to become the artistic director of Vinterfest, a festival very dear to me. I feel honoured to take over from Martin Fröst, whose friendship and incomparable artistry has meant a lot to me over the years. I will strive to continue Martin’s adventurous artistic vision, and bring many new ideas to the table, filling Dalarna with ever more music and joy during those special days in February of each year.” 

Karin Switz, former Acting Managing Director of Musik in Dalarna, commented: “Víkingur Ólafsson is a highly skilled musician with a unique artistic personality. Known for his excellent communication skills and a thirst for seeking out new creative opportunities, he not only has a strong understanding of music from an international perspective but also how it can tie in with the contemporary world of social media and digital channels.”

Having just won ‘Performer of the Year’ at the Icelandic Music Awards 2015, recent and upcoming highlights for Víkingur include the premiere of BIRDS project, a multimedia collaboration with video artist Yann Malka, and a concert at the Barbican in London performing a selection of Philip Glass’ piano etudes with the composer himself. 

Described by The Times as "a classical music festival that rocks”, Vinterfest is a four-day chamber music event held in Dalarna, Sweden that focuses on small-scale, relaxed and intimate performances of classical music from world-leading artists. Víkingur succeeds Martin Fröst, who has held the position since the start of the festival in 2005.