classical music, opera, theatre

Víkingur Ólafsson

no interval
Béla Bartók National Concert Hall
  • Produced by Müpa Budapest

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It is not hard to understand why the New York Times called Víkingur Ólafsson, who at the young age of 39 already has many years of world fame behind him, "Iceland's Glenn Gould” - as the comparison is easily explained by the pianist's exquisite instrumental skills, perfectionism, sensitive taste and penchant for exploring the unusual. To live up to the analogy, it is hardly surprising that the time has come in his career to perform the legendary piece which, when interpreted by the Canadian pianist, became one of the most well-known piano recordings: Bach's Goldberg Variations.

Víkingur Ólafsson began his musical studies in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland, but later studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. His international career took off in 2011, and ever since the young pianist has been a guest in the world's most prestigious concert halls and a soloist with the most famous orchestras. He is an intellectual performer, and is known for his thematic albums on which his concerts are based. He is a regular guest artist at Müpa Budapest, to whom Hungarian music, the music of Bartók, Ligeti and Kurtág is important and whose chamber music partners include István Várdai. This time he will perform Johann Sebastian Bach's Aria mit verschiedenen Veränderungen, otherwise known as the Goldberg Variations in Müpa Budapest, which is among the most ambitious and difficult piano pieces of all time, in which the composer presents a wide variety of variations on a very simple melody, not only providing a brilliant characterisation, but also displaying his unparalleled counterpoint artistry. Very few pianists actually dare to perform this cycle, since playing it is an exceptional test of wit, technical skill and stamina.

The concert will be preceded from 6.30 pm by an introductory presentation in Hungarian entitled Prologue, by musicologist Gergely Fazekas, where concert ticket holders will be invited to get to know the performing musicians and the works to be performed more closely.

Presented by: Müpa Budapest


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