Award winning Graduale Nobili, a renowned Icelandic female choir currently collaborating with Björk on her New York Residency and Biophilia tour, will perform at the West Park Presbyterian Church, 165 W. 86th Street, on February 13th at 7p.m. The choir, directed by Jon Stefansson, performs a capella and will debut a piece composed by Manu Delago, Björk´s percussionist. Admission will be free, and doors open at 6p.m.
Graduale Nobili was founded in the autumn of 2000. The choir is comprised of 24 girls aged 19 to 26, who have been selected from among those who have sung with the Langholtskirkja Graduale Choir. All the members of the choir have pursued musical studies, and many aim for a career in music. In 2003 the choir won two gold medals at the Vocal Festival in Tampere, Finland. The choir was nominated for the 2011 Icelandic Music prize for the best classical CD (Britten/Rutter) and the best classical performer. From September 2010 to January 2011 the choir worked with Björk on her album Biophilia, and then performed with her at the Manchester International Festival and elsewhere in 2011. According to the Rolling Stone “Björk often sang from inside a circle of gold satin, blue sequins and gleaming blonde hair formed by the Graduale Nobili, her 24-piece Icelandic female choir. It was a shimmering cocoon unto itself.” The Artrocker Magazine said about the choir that it “brought a euphoric level of depth, sensitivity and a touch of the supernatural to proceedings.”
Jon Stefansson has been Graduale Nobili´s conductor since the beginning. Jon completed his cantor degree under the guidance of Róbert A. Ottósson, and a soloist degree on the organ with Dr. Páll Isólfsson. He continued his studies at the Academy of Music in Munich with Professor Karl Richter, and later at the Academy of Music in Vienna with Professor Michael Radulescu. Jon has been the organist and chorus master at Langholtskirkja almost continuously since 1964. In addition to directing the Langholtskirkja Choir, he has been a guest conductor for the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, conducted a number of operas at the Icelandic Opera, and the ballet Giselle at the National Theatre of Iceland.
Graduale Nobili´s free concert is sponsored by Iceland Naturally and Icelandair and takes place at the West Park Presbyterian Church at 165 W. 86th Street, New York, NY 10024. Doors open at 6p.m., performance starts at 7p.m. No reservations are needed.