Music & Art Apr 18, 2014

Annual Reykjavik Arts Festival Returns May 22-June 5

The focus of this year's festival, titled "Not Finished," is on the artistic process in a wide context.

The 28th Reykjavik Arts Festival will attract nearly 500 artists from around the world to put on concerts, theatre productions, film screenings, exhibitions and more over the course of two weeks. With the goal of supporting artistic innovation, Reykjavik Arts festival will feature both large-scale collaborations between artists from all fields as well as smaller events and exhibitions by individual artists.

This year’s festival, titled Nicht Fertig, or Not Finished, is focused on the artistic process in a wide context.  Hanna Styrmisdóttir, Artistic Director of the festival said, “The title says what everyone engaged in a creative process of any kind knows full well; that it is never finished.”

Not Finished opens with a newly commissioned work by musician Högni Egilsson at the Reykjavik City Pond (aka Tjörnin Pondon) May 22 and closes with Flight Trails “…and the world was snug into existence” by Ragnheidur Harpa Leifsdóttir on June 5. Also continuing to the last day of the festival is In Your Hands, a dynamic workshop of artists, designers and engineers at gallery Spark Design, exploring the revolution in the creative and manufacturing process which is about to take place through 3D printing.

Harpa Concert Hall will house performances by The Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra, Icelandic composer Atli Heimir Sveinsson, Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili, the South Iceland Chamber Choir, Lee Ronaldo with Leah Singer, composer Anna Thorvaldsdóttir, New York’s ICE Ensemble, and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra with American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton conducted by Osmo Vänskä.

Large-scale collaborations include RIVER OF FUNDAMENT, a film by visual artist Matthew Barney and composer Jonathan Bepler and Der Klang der Offenbarung des Göttlichen, a visual performance by Ragnar Kjartansson set to music by Kjartan Sveinsson, among others. A series of intimate shows by musicians like Brazilian-American Arto Lindsay and Norway’s Sidsel Endresen can be found at the Mengi concert venue.

Artists include: Khatia Buniatishvili,, Hreinn Fridfinnsson, Inuk Silis Hoëg, Michel Butor, Jamie Barton, Ólöf Nordal, Matthew Barney, Miłosz Biedrzycki, Margrét Bjarnadóttir, Ragnar Kjartansson, Bryn Terfel, Tan Dun, Ingunn Fjóla Ingthórsdóttir, Arto Lindsay, Tue Biering, Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir, Sidsel Endresen, Lilja Birgisdóttir, Koho Mori-Newton and Margrét Vilhjálmsdóttir.

Click here to see the complete program.

About Reykjavik Arts Festival

Reykjavik Arts Festival is an annual multidisciplinary festival with a special focus on new commissions and the creative intersection of the arts. For two weeks every year it presents, to the widest possible audience, exhibitions and performances of contemporary and classical works in major cultural venues and unconventional spaces throughout the city.

Since its inception in 1970, Reykjavík Arts Festival has invited hundreds of artists from all parts of the globe to perform or exhibit at the festival. Through this activity, the festival has helped to create a vast network of connections between national and non-national artists, been a catalyst for the creation of new works and a major force in the development of cultural diversity in Iceland.