Cantoque Ensemble and Steinar Logi Helgason
Cantoque Ensemble will sing two concerts with Icelandic choir music at Skálholt Summer Concerts this summer. The arrangements of Icelandic folk songs by Hafliði Hallgrímsson and Hjálmar H. Ragnarsson will be performed at the first concert among other pieces inspired by Icelandic folk culture. The centerpiece of the concert will be “Aldasöngur” by Jón Nordal. The piece was premiered when Nordal was the first composer in residence at Skálholt Summer Concerts in 1986. For this project Cantoque comissioned new pieces by Hafsteinn Þórólfsson and Steinar Logi Helgason with other verses from the same poem, Aldasöngur. The pieces will be premiered at this concert.
At the second concert the focus is on religious choir music inspired by catholic services. Cantoque will perform “Missa Brevis” by Hildigunnur Rúnarsdóttir and Icelandic songs about Mary, Mother of Jesus, as well as Aldasöngur and he new pieces by Helgason and Þórólfsson. Helgason is also conducting the concert.
20:00 - Cantoque Ensemble and Steinar Logi Helgason: Aldasöngur and Icelandic treasures
13:15 - Artist talk: Cantoque Ensemble
14:00 - Cantoque Ensemble and Steinar Logi Helgason: Religious choir music from Iceland
Cantoque Ensemble is an icelandic vocal ensemble consisting of 8 professional singers. The singers are all renowned in Iceland as soloists in the fields of baroque, classical and modern music, as well as on the opera stage. Cantoque Ensemble is Iceland´s only fully professional choir, except for the choir at the Icelandic opera.
Members of Cantoque Ensemble have sung roles at the Icelandic opera and abroad, worked with various orchestras in Iceland as well as on the international stage, and many have been nominated as Singers of the year at the Icelandic Music awards.
The group was formed in 2017 and their first project was a collaboration with the nordic baroque orchestras Höör Barock from Sweden and Camerata Öresund from Denmark. They held concerts in Iceland, Denmark and Sweden, and their concert in Skálholt Summer music festival got a nomination for best performance of the year at last year´s Icelandic Music price.
Cantoque Ensemble travelled around Iceland in the summer of 2018, performing an a cappella program of new arrangements of Icelandic folksongs, there of some that were written for the group. In 2018 they also performed Bach Cantatas under the direction of renowned baroque conductor Andreas Spering.
Steinar Logi Helgason
Steinar Logi Helgason (b.1990) studied piano in the Reykjavík Music School and the New music school under the tutelage of Jónas Sen and in The Reykjavík Collage of Music with Anna Þorgrímsdóttir. He started his studies in the Icelandic Church Music School in 2010 where he finished a Church organist degree before moving onto his Bachelor’s degree in the Iceland Academy of the Arts, where Björn Steinar Sólbergsson was his main teacher. During the semester 2016-2017, Steinar attended the graduate course in Church music at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Steinar has in his career conducted a number of choirs as well as having performed as a pianist, organist and conductor in various settings. He has worked before with Cantoque ensamble as the conductor in a performance of Bach’s St. John Passion with Cantoque and Brák, Baroque ensemble. Steinar is currently enrolled in the master’s program in Ensemble Conducting at the Royal Danish Academy of Music