Recital 5

Víkingur Ólafsson

Bach | Beethoven

Sat, 23.11. | 18.30 | No. 19512

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

Vergangenes Konzert

Please book a wheelchair ticket under t +41 (0) 41 226 44 80 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Piano Festival

16.11.-24.11. 2019



    Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
    Aria variata alla maniera italiana A minor, BWV 989
    Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 850 (from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Part 1)
    Concerto in D minor, BWV 974 after Alessandro Marcello
    Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 855 (from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Part 1)
    Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) / Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943)
    Gavotte from the Partita for Violin Solo in E major, BWV 1006
    Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
    Invention in B minor, BWV 786
    Sinfonia in B minor, BWV 801
    Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) / Alexander Siloti (1863–1945)
    Prelude in B minor after the Prelude in E minor, BWV 855a
    Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
    Fantasy and Fugue in A minor, BWV 904
    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
    Piano Sonata in F minor, Op. 2, no. 1
    Piano Sonata in C minor, Op. 111

    He’s currently stirring up the classical music scene. Víkingur Ólafsson, proclaimed “Iceland’s Glenn Gould” by the New York Times, has created an international sensation with his performances of Bach. When his Bach album was released in 2018, it immediately topped the charts. “When Ólafsson plays, you hear Bach as if for the first time,” according to a reviewer on Bavarian Radio. “It’s hard to put into words what happens on this CD. You get the feeling that Ólafsson is placing Bach’s very soul at your feet. There is nothing left between yourself and the purest, most perfect music.” The pianist, on the other hand, who was born in 1984, has a more objective explanation for such wizardry. He considers Bach to be an unsurpassable teacher who made him understand “the democracy of music” in an unparalleled way. “No voice is secondary. Every voice counts.” For his LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut, Ólafsson will not only focus on the great Baroque master but also sets his sights on the next “titan”: Ludwig van Beethoven, whose first and last piano sonatas he will explore following intermission.

    Víkingur Ólafsson

    Víkingur Ólafsson, who was born in 1984 in Reykjavík, started receiving lessons at an early age from his mother, a piano teacher, and continued his training in his native country with Erla Stefánsdóttir and Péter Máté. He was a student of Robert McDonald and Jerome Lowenthal at the Juilliard School in New York, where he graduated with his master’s degree in 2008. In 2009 he founded his own record label, Dirrindí, through which he has released works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, and Schubert. Since the start of his career, Víkingur Ólafsson has collaborated with numerous contemporary composers, including Philip Glass, whose piano works appear on a CD he released in 2017. This recording launched his relationship with Deutsche Grammophon, and he has since released two highly acclaimed Bach CDs on the yellow label, which led the New York Times to dub him “Iceland’s Glenn Gould.” Víkingur Ólafsson has to date worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra; he was also invited by the Berlin Philharmonic to give a recital at the Philharmonie. In the 2019-20 season, he is artist-in-residence at the Konzerthaus Berlin, where he is scheduled to perform piano concertos by Adès, Schu-mann, Bjarnason, and Mozart, as well as chamber music with the clarinetist Martin Fröst and the baritone Florian Boesch. He will additionally appear with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the Bergen Philharmonic. Víkingur Ólafsson is the host and producer of Útúrdúr, an Icelandic television series on classical music. He is artistic director of Reykjavík Summer Music and was named Artist of the Year at the Gramophone Awards 2019.

    October 2019