Daníel Bjarnason has been announced as the new principal guest conductor of Iceland Symphony Orchestra (ISO), starting in September 2019 for a tenure of two years. A native Icelander, he has already worked with the orchestra as artist-in-residence and as a featured composer and conductor. Bjarnason will join the ranks alongside Yan Pascal Tortelier (principal conductor), Vladimir Ashkenazy (conductor laureate), Osmo Vänskä (honorary conductor) and Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason (assistant conductor).
Of his appointment, Bjarnason said: “It is a great honour to be appointed principal guest conductor of the Iceland Symphony from the autumn of 2019. In recent years I have enjoyed a very close and wonderful relationship with the orchestra and I look forward to continuing to work with the great people that make up the ISO – both the players on stage and the people behind the scenes.”
He will lead several concerts over the season at Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavík, complete three albums of Icelandic music for the Sono Luminus label, and lead ISO on a European tour in November 2019.
“Daníel is an unusually versatile artist with a deep understanding – both as a composer and as a conductor – of the symphony orchestra as a musical instrument,” said Arna Kristín Einarsdóttir, managing director of ISO. “He has achieved great international success and has worked with some of the best and most respected orchestras and conductors in the world.”
International collaborations ISO has undertook with Bjarnason include co-commissioned works with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Danish National Opera.
Added Einarsdóttir: “We are extremely happy about the fact that Daníel has become the first Icelandic conductor to be appointed principal guest conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. We are proud of Daníel and his artistic achievements and expect wonderful things from our collaboration with him.”