We are very happy that these talented performers, all representing different generations of Icelandic musicians, will come to Skálholt Summer Concerts 2021 and premiere the new pieces written by our composers in residency Haukur Tómasson and Eygló Höskuldsdóttir Viborg.
Duo Freyja consists of Rannveig Marta Sarc, Slovene-Icelandic violinist and Svava Bernharðsdóttir, Icelandic violist. They are mother and daughter and first appeared as a duo at the Dark Music Days in 2020 where they commissioned and premiered six duos by six Icelandic women.
Svava Bernhardsdottir is a versatile musician whose performances range from early music on historical instruments to contemporary music. She has performed on every continent of the world and taught at summer music festivals in Slovenia, Norway, the United States and Iceland. She has served as co-principal violist of both the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra and has held teaching positions at the Iceland Academy of the Arts and Ljubljana Music Academy (Slovenia).
Svava has appeared as soloist with the Slovene Philharmonic, Iceland Symphony and The Juilliard Orchestra. She has recorded two solo albums: Svaviola and Svaviola II, the latter containing Icelandic viola music, available on Spotify.
Ms. Bernhardsdottir is an avid chamber musician and regularly appears with groups such as Cammerarctica, The Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra, Nordic Affect and Caput among others.
She holds Bachelor and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from The Juilliard School, her teachers being Nobuko Imai, William Lincer and Karen Tuttle. She also studied early music with Jaap Schröder at Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland.
Rannveig Marta Sarc er fiðluleikari, búsett í Chicago. Hún fæddist árið 1995 í Slóveníu og hóf fiðlunám 4 ára gömul en árið 2006 flutti hún til Íslands og gerðist nemandi Lilju Hjaltadóttur og síðar Guðnýjar Guðmundsdóttur. Hún lauk framhaldsprófi frá Tónlistarskólanum í Reykjavík vorið 2014 og hélt til New York í framhaldsnám við The Juilliard School. Þaðan lauk hún bakkalárs- og mastersgráðu en helstu kennarar hennar voru Donald Weilerstein, Catherine Cho og Laurie Smukler.
Rannveig hefur komið fram víða um Ameríku, Asíu og Evrópu, meðal annars í Carnegie Hall og Alice Tully Hall. Sem einleikari hefur hún leikið með Sinfóníuhljómsveit Íslands, Slóvensku Filharmóníunni og Sinfóníuhljómsveit unga fólksins. Hún hefur hlotið styrki úr Minningarsjóði Jean Pierre Jacquillat, Minningarsjóði Kristjárns Eldjárns, tónlistarsjóði Rótarý og American Scandinavian Society.
Rannveig hefur hlotið ýmsar viðurkenningar fyrir leik sinn, meðal annars þriðju verðlaun í New York International Artists Competition og annað sæti í fiðlueinleikarakeppni Juilliard.
Sem kammermúsíkspilari hefur hún komið fram á tónlistarhátíðum eins og Ravinia, Taos, Kneisel Hall og IMS Prussia Cove.
Guðný Einarsdóttir graduated from the department of musical education at the Reykjavík College of Music and as an organist from the Music School of the National Church in Iceland Guðný studied church music at the Danish Royal Academy for Music in Copenhagen and alongside her studies conducted, and was one of the founders of, the chamber choir Staka. After graduating Guðný was the organist at the church of the Danish congregation in Paris alongside further studies in organ performance.
Guðný has given many concerts at home and abroad, performed as a soloist, accompanist and conductor, and taught both piano and organ performance. She has published two CDs of organ works one of which, the combined organ works of the Icelandic composer Jón Nordal, was nominated for the Icelandic Music Awards. Guðný wrote a children's book named Sally Piper's big tootle day, a musical adventure for children about the wondrous world of the pipe organ. Guðný is currently the organist at Háteigskirkja church in Reykjavík and is the conductor of Kordía, the choir of Háteigskirkja.
Ásta Soffía Þorgeirsdóttir
The accordionist Ásta Soffía Þorgeirsdóttir (1995) has from an early age aspired to use the diverse and rich sound possibilities of the accordion to arrange and play various styles of music. She is known for her comprehensive skills on the accordion and for having charismatic appearance, modesty and confidence. Ásta Soffía’s musical range is wide, spanning from dance music, jazz, folk music, free improvisation to contemporary and classical music. Over the years Ásta Soffía has gained experience from playing and cooperating with many musicians and composers, and she has performed at different concerts and festivals in Iceland, Norway and in Germany. She has organised, beside her studies, many music projects and concert tours, which she has funded from different funds. Ásta Soffía finished in the autumn of 2020 her master’s degree in music performance from Freiburger Musikhochschule, receiving the highest grade for her Master recital. In the spring of 2018, she finished her bachelor’s degree in music performance from the Norwegian Academy of Music with highest grade. In Iceland Ásta Soffía studied, beside high school, for a diploma for talented youth at the Icelandic University of the Art. Ásta Soffía was raised in Húsavík where she got motivating and inspiring musical education at Tónlistarskóli Húsavíkur from young age and was surrounded by the rich cultural life which is found in Þingeyjarsýsla and Akureyri. She has been so lucky to have had many great teachers throughout the years, among others Frode Haltli and Teodoro Anzellotti who are some of the most successful accordionists of our time. It also had a significant effect of her perspective of music to play together with and learn from the saxophone player Rolf-Erik Nystrøm and the double bass player Håkon Thelin who are among the most skilled improvisors and classical/jazz-blend musicians of Norway.
Ásta Soffía won the title of Norwegian champion in accordion playing in the spring of 2018 at the Norwegian Championship of accordion and diatonic, both in solo and duo class.