Photo: Ari Magg

Víkingur Ólafsson (IS)

Pianist

Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson’s originality and powerful musical conviction have seen him take the music world by storm, and he has made a lasting impact with the release of his three albums on Deutsche Grammophon: Philip Glass: Piano Works (2017), Johann Sebastian Bach (2018) and Debussy – Rameau (2020). The albums manage to conjure up a distinctive and highly personal musical connection that reaches far beyond the eras in which they were recorded. Or, to quote BBC Music Magazine: “Víkingur Ólafsson takes Bach playing to a whole new, incredible level. This is music-making that’s crying out to be heard.” Víkingur has given world premieres of six piano concertos written for him by Icelandic composers and collaborated closely with Philip Glass, Thomas Adès and John Adams. During lockdown in 2020, Ólafsson gave weekly performances on BBC Radio 4 from an empty Harpa Concert Hall, reaching a wide range of listeners around the world.