World premiere of Sigurðsson’s 'Eighteen Hundred and Seventy-Five' in Winnipeg

World premiere of Sigurðsson’s 'Eighteen Hundred and Seventy-Five' in Winnipeg
Icelandic composer Valgeir Sigurðsson’s 13-minute orchestral piece Eighteen Hundred and Seventy-Five will receive its world premiere as part of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra New Music Festival at the end of January. The piece will be performed by the composer (laptop) and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra under Alexander Mickelthwate, on 29 January 2014 at the Centennial Hall, Winnipeg.

The year 1875 saw the arrival of Icelandic settlers on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, in the Canadian province of Manitoba, due to adverse environmental and economic conditions in Iceland. The region has since been known as New Iceland and remains a symbolic centre of the Icelandic heritage in Canada today.

The world premiere will allow the continuation of an on-going relationship between  WSO New Music Festival and Icelandic music. Eighteen Hundred and Seventy-Five was commissioned by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland and the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba, on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Icelandic Festival in Gimli, Manitoba.

Eighteen Hundred and Seventy-Five is programmed with Frank Zappa’s The Perfect Stranger and Glenn Branca’s Freeform and Symphony #11 in a concert entitled ‘Unholy Noise’.

The following day sees a further Sigurðsson performance.  Extracts from his ballet score, Architecture of Loss, will be given by the composer and Eyvind Kang (viola), in a concert at Winnipeg’s Crescent Fork Rouge United Church.

Jonny Greenwood’s 19-minute piece for 48 solo strings 48 Responses to Polymorphia is set to receive its Canadian premiere on 25 January 2014, also as part of the WCO New Music Festival. It will be performed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra under Alexander Mickelthwate and feature as part of the ‘Hilliard’ concert, alongside repertoire by Frank Zappa, Pierre Boulez, Owen Pallett and Arvo Pärt.