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Víkingur Ólafsson

About this Artist

Pianist Víkingur Ólafsson’s remarkable originality and powerful musical conviction have seen him, in just a few years, take the music world by storm to become one of the most sought-after artists of today.

Ólafsson made an unforgettable impact with the release of his two albums, Philip Glass Piano Works and Johann Sebastian Bach on the Deutsche Grammophon label, where he is an exclusive recording artist. Praised for revealing new possibilities within the music, Johann Sebastian Bach – featuring diverse original compositions and transcriptions, including Ólafsson ’s own – has appeared in multiple best albums of the year lists, was named one of the greatest ever Bach recordings in Gramophone, won Best Instrumental and Album of the Year at the 2019 BBC Music Magazine Awards, and was named Artist of the Year at the 2019 Gramophone Awards. Ólafsson’s previous album, Philip Glass Piano Works, was an equal success and saw him dubbed “Iceland’s Glenn Gould” by The New York Times and “breathtakingly brilliant pianist” by Gramophone. Ólafsson’s anticipated next album is being launched in the 2019/20 season, 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 the Berlin Konzerthaus with 14 performances over 11 different projects, playing concertos by Thomas Adès, Schumann, Daníel Bjarnason, and Mozart, two solo recitals, and chamber programs with the likes of Martin Fröst and Florian Boesch. This season will also see Ólafsson give the French première of John Adams’ Piano Concerto No. 2 with Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and also perform the work with Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra – both with Adams conducting, as well as concerts with Konzerthausorchester Berlin and Christoph Eschenbach; Hallé and Klaus Mäkelä; Hong Kong Philharmonic and Jaap van Zweden; Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra with Edward Gardner; San Diego Symphony with Rafael Payare; and Iceland Symphony Orchestra with Daníel Bjarnason. Ólafsson will also give solo recitals at Wiener Konzerthaus, Lucerne Festival, Konzerthaus Berlin, Gothenburg Concert Hall, and across Japan for a recital tour.

Ólafsson has premiered six piano concertos to date, most recently that of Haukur Tómasson, with NDR Elbphilhamonie Orchester and Los Angeles Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Always pushing boundaries, Ólafsson set up his own record label prior to signing to Deutsche Grammophon, created and presented the Icelandic television series on classical music, Útúrdúr, and is founder and artistic director of the award-winning Reykjavík Midsummer Music.