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'Breaking classical music out of the tweed jacket and loafers and putting it into a t-shirt and trainers'
At only 21 years of age, Ólafur Arnalds is Iceland's latest export. Having already sold out The Barbican Hall in London, toured major European festivals and having opened for Sigur Rós on their most recent European tour, the future seems bright for this young, extraordinary talent.
The music of Ólafur Arnalds can only be described as achingly beautiful. He creates a world of delicate symphonic compositions.
His music scales the heights perfected by the romantics. Yet by mixing strings and piano with loops and edgy beats it remains equally engaging to the contemporary ear.
Succeeding in making the cross-over from classical to pop, Ólafur’s motivations are clear:
“The classical scene is kind of closed to people who haven't been studying music all their lives. I would like to bring my classical influence to the people who don't usually listen to this kind of music…open people's mind. Especially young people, who seem to be the biggest part of my audience...”
Minds have been opened at sold out concerts around the world. For the past year, Ólafur has been playing unique venues and festivals across Europe and North America delivering an oasis of calm in a frenzied world. Accompanied by a string quartet, Ólafur takes the audience on a dreamy, almost meditative, journey. The magical atmosphere he creates attracts an audience who wouldn't usually expect to find themselves at a concert including a string quartet and piano.