Our successful concert series in Harpa Concert Hall brings you some of Iceland's most celebrated musicians of the younger generation.
The programme is sung in Icelandic with spoken word in English as the composers, poets and songs are presented along with the stories behind the music.
Pearls of Icelandic song is a concert series where Icelandic music is introduced to our visitors. The concerts come in slightly different variations but are all with english translations and moderation.
We perform at Harpa during the summer, usually 3-4 times a week.
During Christmas and New year we have a special New Year's Programme.
Tickets for Pearls of Icelandic song concerts cost ISK 5500 and the concert lasts about an hour. You can buy tickets online by clicking on the buying icon or at the box office in Harpa (tel +354 5285050)
Click on the concert date you are interested in to see the Artist performing that day
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Our concerts are held in Harpa, the new concert hall and conference centre in Reykjavik.
Harpa was opened in 2011 and has hosted the concerts of the Pearls of Icelandic song ever since
One of the halls of Harpa is Kaldalón and that is where our concerts are usually held. Kaldalón has great acustics for vocal music and the design of the hall is ideal for the Pearls.
Our Artists are mostly young Icelandic musicians, many of whom have already been celebrated for their work, both in Iceland and abroad.
Click on artist name to get more information and concert dates.
Bjarni Thor Kristinsson is one in the group of Icelandic opera singers who have reached the furthest on foreign soil. He is also the founder and artistic director of Pearls of Icelandic song. He began his singing studies at the music school in Njarðvík and then continued at Sigursvein's Music School and the Singing School in Reykjavík. In the fall of 1994, Bjarni continued his studies at the opera department of the Vienna University of Music, where he was mentored by Helene Karusso and Curt Malm. In the spring of 1997, Bjarni was then hired as the main bass singer of the Volkoper Vienna. He was employed there for three years and after that time he turned exclusively to freelancing. Some of Bjarni's main operatic roles include: Barón Ochs in Rosenkavalier, Osmin in Entführung aus dem Serail, Rocco in Fidelio, John Falstaff in Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor, not to mention various roles in Wagner's operas: Wotan in Rheingold, Pogner in Die Meistersinger, Daland in Der fliegende Holländer, King Henry in Lohengrin and others. After Bjarni became a freelance singer, he has been a regular guest at the State Opera in Berlin as well as performing in opera houses in Chicago, Paris, Venice, Verona, Florence, Palermo, Rome, Lisbon, Barcelona, Hamburg, Dresden, Munich, Wiesbaden, Karlsruhe and Dortmund to name a few. Bjarni sang the role of Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Icelandic Opera in autumn 2006 and received Gríman, an Icelandic drama award, as the singer of the year for that role. He took part in a performance of Edda 1 by Jón Leifs with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in autumn 2006 and also sang with the orchestra at the opening of the Harpa music hall. In recent years, Bjarni Thor has also directed and translated several operas.
Hanna Dóra Sturludóttir is one of Icelands leading classical singers. Her career, both in opera and concert have taken her around the world. She has sung over 60 roles and several of them at the Icelandic Opera in recent years, for example the title role in Carmen, Princess Eboli in Don Carlo and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. Most recently she premiered a new icelandic opera KOK that won the Icelandic music award but Hanna Dóra already received the Icelandic Music Award as “Classical Singer of the Year" in 2014 for her interpretation of Eboli. She lived in Germany for several years and regularly performs concerts and opera there. She has performed regularly art song concerts as well and participated in the performance of church music. Hanna Dóra has also placed special emphasis on the performance of new music and has worked for several years with the opera group Novoflot in Berlin, which specializes in non-traditional opera productions. In Iceland she has, among other things, worked with the Caput group, took part in Myrkir Músíkdagar and worked closely with composer Snorri Sigfús Birgisson and in recent years they have performed and recorded a lot of new Icelandic music. Hanna Dóra is professor and head of the Vocal Performance Program at the at the Iceland University of the Arts.
Jóna G. Kolbrúnardóttir is one of Iceland's most celebrated musicians of the younger generation. She started singing at a young age and has sung in various choirs both as a member and a soloist. She graduated from The Reykjavík School of Singing and Vocal Arts in the spring of 2014. Jóna continued her studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2018 under the guidance of Univ. Prof. Gabriele Lechner. Jóna has participated in various masterclasses, e.g. with Anne Sofie von Otter, Chritine Schäfer, Stephan Matthias Lademann and Regine Werner. She graduated last June with a master's degree from the Opera Academy at the Royal Opera in Copenhagen under the guidance of Helene Gjerris and Susanna Eken. Jóna has been visible in the music scene in Iceland in recent years. She has performed as a soloist in several concerts with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, most recently at the Viennese New Year’s Concert in 2020 and at Klassíkin okkar in 2021, which was broadcasted live on RÚV. Jóna made her debut at the Icelandic Opera as Gréta in the opera Hans og Gréta; in 2018. She performed her first role at the Royal Opera in Copenhagen in the autumn of 2020, where she sang Papagena in Mozart's The Magic Flute. Jóna also performs a lot of art songs (lieder) and has sung in numerous Lied Recitals and is always working on new material in that field.
Kristín Sveinsdóttir is one of Iceland's most celebrated musicians of the younger generation. She started singing at an early age in a prestigious children’s church choir at Langholtskirkja in Reykjavík, where she got most of her musical upbringing and performed frequently as a soloist with the conductor and organist Jón Stefánsson. In 2013 she graduated with distinction from the Reykjavík Academy of Singing and Vocal Arts. During her studies in Reykjavík Kristín worked with the Icelandic artist Björk and sang as a back vocalist on her album Biophilia, as well as on a world tour that lasted over two years. In 2014 Kristin started her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna in the class of Prof. Margit Klaushofer. After her first year she got accepted at the Accademia Teatro alla Scala in Milan where she stayed for over one year. In Milan Kristin sang, among other things, as a soloist at the 2014 Christmas concert of the Scala conducted by Franz Welser-Möst and the second dame in Mozart’s Zauberflöte. In 2018 Kristin finished her BA in Vienna. During her years in Vienna she sang various roles in Schloßtheater Schönbrunn such as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Hänsel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. Kristin recently moved back home to Iceland where she performes regularly as a soloist.
Laufey Sigrún Haraldsdóttir graduated from the Iceland Academy of the Arts with a B.Mus degree in piano performance and then completed a master's degree in classical piano performance from the Academy of Music in Aarhus, Denmark. She also attended various music courses during her studies, including IMPACT at New York University. Laufey has, in recent years, mainly focused on playing chamber music and has performed as a pianist in different contexts, playing both classical music, soundscapes and sound improvising, as well as own arrangements and pieces. She has also hosted concerts both in Iceland and abroad in collaboration with other artists and lately she has been performing music for two pianos in duo with Sólborg Valdimarsdóttir. In addition she has performed as a choir singer with various music ensembles. Laufey workes as an accompanist and teacher at Sigurðar Demetz's Singing School and Sigursvein D. Kristinsson's Music School.
Lilja Guðmundsdóttir is one of Iceland's most celebrated musicians of the younger generation. She grew up in the small town of Kópasker and studied singing at the Music School in Akureyri, at the Sigurðar Demetz School of Music and at The Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna. From there, she completed her Master's degree in the fall of 2015 with a first grade. Her main teachers were Sigríður Aðalsteinsdóttir, Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir and Uta Schwabe. During her student years, Lilja sang the Queen of the Night in the Magic Flute at Ohpera and in Suor Angelica at the Theater an der Wien. Here in Iceland she has sung the role of Donna Elvira from Don Giovanni with the Young People's Symphony Orchestra, Frasquita in Carmen and Second Niece in Peter Grimes at the Icelandic Opera and Madame Herz in Schauspieldirektor in Iðnó. She has performed as a soloist with Salon Islandus, The Festival Orchestra Wien and with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. Lilja has sung at countless concerts in Austria, France, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany and Iceland.
Sólborg Valdimarsdóttir started her piano studies at the Reykjavík Academy of Music and later studied at the Reykjavík Music School, where Peter Máté was her main teacher. In the spring of 2009, she finished her Bachelor's degree at the Iceland Academy of the Arts under the supervision of Peter Máté. She then completed her master's degree in piano performance in the spring of 2011 from Det Jyske Musikkonservatorium in Aarhus, Denmark, where her main teachers were Anne Øland and Thomas Tronhjem. In the spring of 2014 she earned a diploma in art education at the Iceland Academy of the Arts. Sólborg has performed in various Music Festivals and Concert Series as a soloist, accompanist with singers and as a member of chamber groups here in Iceland, Denmark and Sweden. Since 2019 Solborg has been performing music for two pianos in duo with Laufey Sigrún Haraldsdóttir.
Þóra Kristín Gunnarsdóttir is a pianist who has performed at concerts and music festivals all over Switzerland and Iceland. Þóra began her musical studies in Akureyri with Dýrleif Bjarnadóttir and later studied with Peter Máté at the Reykjavík College of Music. She completed a master's degree in piano teaching and piano performance with a minor in chamber music from the Lucerne University of Music in 2017. In 2020, she completed a second master's degree in chamber music and song accompaniment from the Zurich University of the Arts, where her principal teacher was pianist Friedemann Rieger. In Iceland, she has performed in the major concert rows like Classic Sundays and Welcome home in Harpa, Klassík in Vatnsmýrin, Tíbrá and at the music festival Seigla. In Switzerland, she has performed for example at the music festival Chesa Planta Musiktage and at concerts organized by Liedrezital Zürich. She is mainly a chamber music performer and accompanist, but in 2021 she was one of the soloists in ZHdK Strings concert tour in Switzerland and in Harpa, where she played Robert Schumann’s Concert-Allegro with Introduction. For the past summers, she has been accompanying masterclass courses for singers in France. She has attended master class courses with, among others, Thomas Hampson, Josef Breinl and Ewa Kupiec. Þóra works as an accompanist at the MÍT School of Music in Reykjavík.
In our New Year's programme, we will sing Icelandic songs and folk music of elves, trolls and outlaws. We tell the stories behind the songs and we introduce to you the traditions of Icelandic Christmas and New Year's.
The Program is sung in Icelandic and moderated in English.
You can buy tickets online here or get them at the Box office in Harpa
In 2010 the idee of starting a concert series with Icelandic Art songs and folk music came up. At that time the concert house Harpa was beeing build so our first home was a music school close to the harbour. We got a lot of young musicians to take part in this adventure and during the first summer we developed the concept of our programme.
When Harpa was opened in 2011 we where invited to perform our concerts there. Since then we have been part of the Harpa's summer programme and the our performances are already counted in hundreds. The musicians that have sunged or played in our concerts are already more that 50 and some have been a part of our concert series since the very beginning.
In 2012 we started a new years concert series as well, where we present Icelandic Christmas traditions and sing songs about elves and trolls.
After five very enjoyable years with Pearls of Icelandic song it is our hope that we will be able to keep on opening the exciting world of Icelandic art songs and folk music for our guest in the years to come.
Bjarni Thor Kristinsson - Artistic Director