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Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, violin, Georgia Browne, traverso, Guðrún Hrund Harðardóttir, viola, Hanna Loftsdóttir, cello/gamba, Karl Nyhlin lute, Guðrún Óskarsdóttir keyboards.

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“Their commitment to their repertoire is evident in every phrase.”

Classical Music

Since its foundation Nordic Affect has combined new compositions with the music of the 17th and 18th century. This comes as a natural reaction to the vibrant musical life of Iceland, where music from ancient manuscripts is being rediscovered at the same time as new compositional computer software is being developed. Its members represent the new generation of period instrumentalists who share a passion for viewing familiar musical forms from a different perspective as well as venturing into new terrain. Nordic Affect takes its name from the Baroque practice of inspiring different emotional states in audiences and communicating certain moods (or affects) through the composition and performance of music.

Each of the musicians in the group is a specialist in historical performance having studied both in Europe and the USA. Members of Nordic Affect perform as soloists and chamber musicians throughout Europe as well as being active orchestral musicians with various well-known period instrument ensembles. Since its debut in 2005 Nordic Affect has performed in Iceland, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, France and England. In addition their winter concert series in Reykjavík has provided a platform for their unique blend of music and education.

Their programming ranges from the dance music of the 17th century to premieres of cutting edge electronic compositions of today. The ensemble’s concerts and recordings have been received with great critical acclaim and the group has been praised for their energetic and stylistic bravura. Nordic Affect has recorded for the Icelandic Broadcasting Service and the European Broadcasting Service. Two of their comissions; Händelusive by Hugi Guðmundsson and Sleeping Pendulum by María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir have been short listed at The International Rostrum of Composers. Nordic Affect’s first album which was released in October 2008 is a recording of Apocrypha, a piece written specifically for Nordic Affect by Hugi Guðmundsson. The album received The Kraumur Award in 2008 as well as a nomination for an Iceland Music Award. A collaboration with the Carmina chamber choir under the direction of Árni Heimir Ingólfsson resulted in a recording of Icelandic early music which received an Icelandic Music Award in 2011. Their 2012 recording of music by Carl Friedrich Abel on the Brilliant Classics label has been met with glowing reviews in BBC Music Magazine, Classical Music and Fanfare magazines and has received two Icelandic Music Award nominations. NoA’s playing can be found on a new album with works by Hugi Guðmundsson which will be released this Christmas by Bad Taste Records. Upcoming concerts will include new commissions from Steingrímur Rohloff, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Brendan Faegre, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Hlynur Aðils Vilmarsson, María Huld Markan, Kippi Kaninus, Hugi Guðmundsson, Taylan Susam, Thomas Smetryns and Úlfur Hansson.

The ensemble is supported by Reykjavík City and The Ministry of Culture’s Music Fund. The artistic director of Nordic Affect since its foundation has been Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir.

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