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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.
“Their commitment to their repertoire is evident in every phrase.”
The chamber ensemble Nordic Affect, newly nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize, was formed in 2005 to promote music from the 17th and 18th centuries as well as the performance of contemporary music. 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 trying to communicate certain affects and to inspire different emotional states 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 at the Skálholt Summer Concerts the group has performed in Iceland, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, France and England in addition to launching their own chamber music concert series in Reykjavík.
Their performances range from dance music of the 17th century to premieres of the exciting 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. 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.
Contact at hallasteinunn-at-gmail-dot-com