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Arts & Culture

Classical Classroom, Episode 180: Icelandic Music History 101 with Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir

Íslensk tónlist er flott!

Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir. Photo courtesy of the artist.


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Cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir is from the once-isolated island country of Iceland, a land of ice and snow and geothermal power and awesome music. In this episode, Sæunn tells the unique history of Icelandic classical music (or “music,” as they call it there), including how the long-term relative isolation of the country lent to its unique approach to music, and tells what Björk’s favorite food is. Just kidding! But she does talk about Iceland’s important composers and musical luminaries and says a lot of really cool-sounding Icelandic words.

PS, The Iceland Airwaves festival begins on November 6, 2018. Our friends at KEXP do some excellent coverage of the festival online!

PPS, One of the artists mentioned in this show, Daníel Bjarnason, just put out a new album, which you can learn about on one of our favorite music sites/stations, Second Inversion.

Music in this episode:

Special Thanks to Todd Reynolds for his music, Taskforce: Farmlab from Outerbourough.