Víkingur Ólafsson named Gramophone Magazine’s Artist of the Year 2019
Víkingur Ólafsson has been named Gramophone Magazine’s Artist of the Year 2019. The Gramophone Awards, dubbed the “Oscars of the classical music world,” honoured Ólafsson in particular recognition of his remarkable album Johann Sebastian Bach [Deutsche Grammophon]. The coveted Gramophone Award continues an outstanding run for the Icelandic pianist which has also seen him win: Performer of the Year and Album of the Year at the Icelandic Music Awards (March 2019); BBC Music Magazine Best Instrumental Album and overall Album of the Year (April 2019); and the Opus Klassik Best Solo Recital (October 2019).
Johann Sebastian Bach has been a resounding critical and public success and also topped multiple 2018 Album of the Year lists the world over. Praised for revealing new possibilities within the music, the recording features diverse original compositions and transcriptions, including Ólafsson’s own. Gramophone recognised Ólafsson’s gift for “making something familiar feel entirely his own, drawing you into a world where no other interpretation seems possible.”
To celebrate the win, Deutsche Grammophon, for whom Ólafsson is an exclusive recording artist, has released a new music video as well as a Deluxe version of Johann Sebastian Bach featuring Bach Reworks. Ólafsson’s first recording on the prestigious label, Philip Glass Piano Works, was an equally huge success and saw him named “Iceland’s Glenn Gould” by the New York Times.
In only a few years, Ólafsson’s remarkable originality and powerful musical conviction have seen him take the music world by storm to become one of the most sought-after artists of today. His anticipated next album will be released in the 2019/20 season on Deutsche Grammophon, with recitals across Europe and Japan.
Ólafsson’s coming seasons are marked by a series of high-profile international artist residencies at some of the world’s top concert halls. This begins in 2019/20 at Berlin Konzerthaus with fourteen performances over eleven different projects. This season also sees Ólafsson give the French première of John Adams’ Piano Concerto No.3 with Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and perform the work with Netherlands Radio Orchestra (both conducted by John Adams), as well as give concerts with Finnish Radio Orchestra (Klaus Mäkelä), Konzerthausorchester Berlin (Christoph Eschenbach), Hallé (Klaus Mäkelä), Hong Kong Philharmonic (Jaap van Zweden), Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Ed Gardner), San Diego Symphony (Rafael Payare), and Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Daníel Bjarnason). Ólafsson will also collaborate with Martin Fröst, Matthias Goerne, Danish String Quartet and Florian Boesch.