New CD release
Solo Violin Sonatas 1-6 Op. 27
Available end of May on all streaming platforms
via Challenge Records
by Nicky Swett
About the Sonatas
In summer of 1923, Eugene Ysaÿe heard his friend Joseph Szigeti perform one of J.S. Bach’s Solo Violin Sonatas. Afterwards, on his way to a sojourn at the beach in Le Zoute, Ysaÿe couldn’t stop thinking about the performance: “When one hears an artist like Szigeti, who is able to accommodate his playing to the rectangular lines of the great classics as easily as he can to the expressive melodies of the romantics, one feels how absorbing it would be to compose a work for the violin whilst keeping ever before one the style of one particular violinist.” On arrival at the resort, Ysaÿe disappeared into his room for a couple of days and emerged with sketches of Six Violin Sonatas (Op. 27), each imagined with the sound and style of a specific artist ringing in his ears.
Sólveig Steinþórsdóttir was born in Reykjavík in 1995 and began her violin studies at the age of three at the Allegro Suzuki Music School under the guidance of Lilja Hjaltadóttir and later studied with Guðný Guðmundsdóttir at the Reykjavík College of Music.
She completed a bachelor's degree from the University of the Arts in Berlin with Erika Geldsetzer in 2019 and a master's degree from the University of the Arts in Zurich in 2021, where her teacher was Rudolf Koelman, both with the highest mark.
She has played solo and chamber music in Iceland, Germany, Switzerland and Italy and performed at various festivals, including the Bodensee Festival and Festival alte Musik Zürich. She has performed as a soloist with an orchestra in Iceland, Switzerland and Italy and played, among others, violin concertos by Tschaikowsky, Sibelius, Saint-Saëns and Bach and concert pieces by Chausson, Sarasate and Saint-Saëns.
She has also played as a baroque violinist with various groups, e.g. Zürcher Barockorchester, Akademie für alte Musik Berlin and J. S. Bach Stiftung St. Gallen, and performed at various music festivals e.g. Bachfest Leipzig and the Skálholt Summer Concerts. Sólveig has taught at the Harpa International Music Academy as a Young Artist in Residence since 2020.
In June 2023, the Dutch record company Challenge Classics released a recording of her performance of the six Solo Sonatas by Eugene Ysaÿe, which was recorded in Winterthur, Switzerland in October 2022.
Sólveig plays on a violin made in 2011 by Icelandic luthier Hans Jóhannsson.
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