Chief Conductor Eva Ollikainen with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.

“Organized instrumental music making came late to Iceland,” writes Andrew Mellor in Wednesday’s (4/6) Guardian (U.K). “Today, the nation’s musical life has to be seen—and preferably heard—to be believed. Increasingly, Iceland’s genre-blind musicians channel the challenges of living on a forbidding chunk of volcanic rock into the creation of progressive music that gives the impression of having resounded forever. Icelanders cleave to homegrown acts, with a quarter of Top 10-charting music on Spotify made domestically … and some of the best-known names have found global success with highly distinctive music … When the Iceland Symphony Orchestra tours the UK later this month, it will combine a programmed of Tchaikovsky and Beethoven with the new Icelandic classical music the world is clamoring to hear. Specifically, that of Anna Thorvaldsdóttir … In 2017, a series of ISO recordings began chronicling the music of an outstanding new generation of local composers, many of them women…. Thorvaldsdóttir takes her place among a wider school of Icelandic composition [including] María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, Thurídur Jónsdóttir, Bára Gísladóttir, Veronique Vaka, Páll Ragnar Pálsson, Daníel Bjarnason and others … In the third decade of the 21st century, no country on Earth has reinvented the language of the symphony orchestra on such distinctive and locally relevant terms as Iceland has.”