Festive Sounds at New Years Eve

Hallgrímskirkja christmas music festival
Passía – tónlist fyrir hug og hjarta
Passía – music for the mind and the heart
Sýna allt

Festive Sounds at New Years Eve

Trompetar og orgel

December 31, New Years Eve at 5 pm

Festive Sounds at New Years Eve!

Festive music for three trumpets, timpany and organ.  Famous works by J.S.Bach ( Toccata and fuge in d- minor), Albinoni ( Adagio), Zelenka, Charpentier and Vivaldi.

Ásgeir H. Steingrímsson, Eiríkur Örn Pálsson, Einar St. Jónsson trumpets, Eggert Pálsson timpany and Hörður Áskelsson, Music Director of Hallgrimskirkja, organ.

Admission ISK 3500. Ticket sale at MIDI.IS and in Hallgrímskirkja.

The Hallgrímskirkja Friends of the Arts Society invites now, for the 22nd time, to the Festive Sounds at New Year concert. They are intended to evoke a festive atmosphere fitting for the occasion when we bid the passing year farewell and greet the New Year.

The sounding of the trumpets and drums has through the ages been connected to festivities. Samples of this can be found in the oldest hymnal of the Church, the Book of Psalms, where the Lord is praised with drums and trumpets. The sounding of the trumpets – fanfares – are closely related to royalty, royal guards, and other forms of military activities. In the church, these instruments have been used to describe the risen Christ at Easter and the glory of the angels in the fields by Bethlehem.

All the music this evening has its music rooted around 300 years ago during the baroque era. Most of the composers are born within 36 years, during 1643 to 1679.

Since 1993 the Trompeteria group has given this concert every New Year’s Eve. The trumpet players Ásgeir H. Steingrímsson and Eiríkur Örn Pálsson and cantor and musical director of Hallgrimskirkja, Hörður Áskelsson, have delighted their guests with their playing. A few years years ago Einar St. Jónsson and Eggert Pálsson joined the group.

Ásgeir Hermann Steingrímsson, Eiríkur Örn Pálsson and Einar St. Jónsson all completed their musical studies at the Reykjavík School of Music before their further studies in the USA. Ásgeir has a BM degree from Mannes College of Music in New York, Eiríkur a BA degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston and an MFA degree from the Californian Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles and Einar a BM degree from Indiana University. Today they are all members of the trumpet section of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra besides being very active on the music scene in the metropolitan area. They have all played with the Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra, the orchestra of the Icelandic Opera, various big bands such as the National Radio Big Band and the Reykjavík Big Band. Eiríkur is also a founding member of the Caput Ensemble. They all have appeared as soloists with these orchestras. They are all three well-renowned teachers in music schools in Reykjavík and surroundings.

Eggert Pálsson studied the piano and percussion at the Reykjavík School of Music before travelling to Vienna in Austria to study at the Vienna Conservatory. Upon his return to Iceland he became the principal timpani player in the Iceland Symphony Orchestra besides being very active on the music scene in the metropolitan area. He is a member of the Benda Percussion Ensemble and the Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra. He has also played with the Caput Ensemble and is a member of the vocal group Voces Thules that has specialized in performing medieval music and Gregorian chant.

Hörður Áskelsson has been organist and musical director of Hallgrímskirkja since he completed his organ and church musical studies in Düsseldorf in Germany in 1982. He has played a key role in the development of artistic life in Hallgrímskirkja and was instigator to the Hallgrímskirkja Friends of the Arts Society, the biannual Sacred Arts Festival, and the International Organ Summer Festival. He is founder and director of the Hallgrímskirkja Motet Choir (1982) and the chamber choir Schola Cantorum Reykjavicensis (1996).

As an organist Hörður has given concerts in many of the largest churches in Europe, including St. Michaelis in Hamburg, in Cologne Cathedral, St. Sulpice in Paris and in the cathedrals of Brussels and Helsinki. He has gained major recognitions for his contribution to the Icelandic music scene, including the Icelandic Music Awards, the Icelandic Optimism Award and in 2004 he was made Knight of the Icelandic Order of the Falcon.


Hörður, Ásgeir and Eiríkur gave a concert in the Philharmonic in St. Petersburg to a full house in the fall of 2005 with standing ovations, they played at the Frankfurt-Höchst Music Festival in Germany and in Akureyri Church. The CD Trompeteria contains many of their most popular works, it has been widely distributed and is for sale in Hallgrímskirkja and elsewhere. They are currently planning the recording of a new CD with emphasis on music for all five of them.