Víkingur Ólafsson debuts on Deutsche Grammophon with
Philip Glass – Piano Works
Released in time for the composer's 80th birthday in January
For Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson's debut album on Deutsche Grammophon, he is performing selections of Philip Glass's Piano Etudes to be released on January 27, in time for the composer's 80th birthday.
Ólafsson's fascination with reinterpreting the Piano Etudesgrew as he toured and performed the works with Glass himself. "On the surface, they seem to be filled with repetitions. But the more one plays and thinks about them, the more their narratives seem to travel along in a spiral," he explains. "My approach to each of the etudes is to enable the listener to create his or her own personal space of reflection."
Víkingur Ólafsson's upcoming season includes performances with theLos Angeles Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen, a concert series with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra under Yan Pascal Tortelier, and his solo recital debuts at Vienna's Konzerthaus and Hamburg's newly inaugurated Elbphilharmonie.
Described by The New York Times as a "splendid pianist" and by Piano News as an "immense talent", Ólafsson is much sought-after by international conductors, orchestras and artists as both a chamber and concert musician. Now 32, he graduated in 2008 from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Robert McDonald, and has since released three albums on Dirrindí, the label he set up in 2009. Last year he contributed two solo piano pieces and the Valse des fleurs for piano four hands to Deutsche Grammophon's 30-CD Stravinsky Complete Edition. Ólafsson is also Artistic Director of the annual Reykjavík Midsummer Music festival, which he founded in 2012, and last year took over from Martin Fröst as curator of Sweden's Vinterfest.