Phonemes – Synthesis of 16 strings

Phonemes – Synthesis of 16 strings

Synthesis of 16 strings marks the outline of the concert of Siggi String Quartet in Hafnarborg, sunday 4th of January 2015 at 8pm. The works on the program give insights to different approach to the string quartet form and remarks on its soundscape. With music by composers Giacinto Scelsi, Naomi Pinnock, Atli Heimir Sveinsson and Unu Sveinbjarnadóttur.

The concert is a part of Phonemes, a concert series dedicated to contemporary music at Hafnarborg.

Phonemes is a concert series at Hafnarborg, dedicated to presenting music by various contemporary  composers from the 20th and 21st century with a focus on small settings of chamber music. Light is shed upon subjects of contemporary music today and the artistic research of composers in the abstract world of poetry of sounds. The name of the series, Phonemes, references the basic unit of language’s phonology, phoneme, which can be combined and re-arranged with other phonemes in terms of forming meaningful units such as words or morphemes. Each concert is a combination of various phonemes that could or could not bring a meaning to the audience.

With the friendly support of Ernst von Siemens and Tónlistarsjóður
ernst von siemens music foundation

Concert tickets are available through the web on and in Hafnarborg’s reception or through, phone, nr. 585-5790.  General price of the ticket is 2500 ISK and 1500 ISK for senior citizens and students.

Siggi String quartet performed its first concert at the Young Nordic music festival UNM in 2012 where its members gave a renowned performance on every part of their instruments and as well on musical stands. The members of the quartet are Una Sveinbjarnardóttir and Helga Þóra Björgvinsdóttir, violins, Þórunn Ósk Marínósdóttir, viola and Sigurður Bjarki Gunnarsson, cello.

Una Sveinbjarnardóttir, violinist, studied at Musikhochschule Köln with Prof. Gorjan Kosuta after her B.A. degree in Reykjavik 1995 where her teacher was Mark Reedman. In Cologne she also studied Chamber Music with the renowned Alban Berg String Quartet. Una has played Dmitri Shostakovich 1.Violin Concerto, Atli Heimir Sveinsson’s Dreamboat, Philip Glass Violin Concerto and Beethoven´s Violin Concerto with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, and premiered several compositions. Una has performed on albums by Björk, Rammstein, Bonnie Prince Billy, Till Brönner, Ane Brun, Mugison and many others. Una is the concertmaster of Reykjavík Chamber festival and has been guest concertmaster of Klassische Philharmonie Bonn, Trondheim Synfoniorkester and the ensemble of Icelandic Opera. Una plays on Camillo Camilli violin, made in 1732.

Helga Þóra Björgvinsdóttir, violinist, has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Icelandic youth symphony orchestra and Skark string ensemble, and performs regularly with groups such as Elektre Ensemble, Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble Adapter.

Helga Þóra finished her masters-studies in 2013 from the Royal Concervatory in Brussel, where she studied with prof. Kati Sebestyen. Before, Helga Þóra studied at Universität der Künste Berlin with Isabelle Faust and Artemis quartet, Iceland Academy of the Arts, Reykjavík college of music and Tónmenntaskóli Reykjavíkur. Among groups end orchestras Helga Þóra has performed with through the years, are Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, Orchestre Prométhée, Orchestre de la Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris and Sebestyen strings.

Þórunn Ósk Marinósdóttir, viola player, has been active on the solo and chamber music scene in Belgium and Iceland as well as being the principal viola of the string orchestra Sebastian Strings and the chamber orchestra Prima la Musica, performing with both throughout Europe. She now serves as second principal viola of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and principal-viola of the Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra with which she has also appeared as a soloist on several occasions, including a tour to Belgium and Russia with Vladimir Ashkenazy in 2003.

Sigurður Bjarki Gunnarsson, cellist, graduated in 1995 from the Reykjavík College of Music, where his teacher was Gunnar Kvaran. He continued his cello studies at the Manhattan School of Music in New York and graduated with a Bachelor‘s degree in 1998 under the instruction of David Soyer. He received a Master’s degree from the Juilliard School of Music in New York in 2000 as a student of Harvey Shapiro. A member of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra since 2002, Gunnarsson remains an active chamber musician and teacher.