Amazing Musical Talent

5 04 2013

The Ísafjörður Music School (Tónlistarskóli Ísafjarðar) is one of the oldest music schools in Iceland, where the music tradition is quite young by European standards. It was established in the year 1948 by the Ísafjörður Music Society and at the initiative of Jonas Tomasson Sr., organist, composer and bookseller in Ísafjörður.

Jonas hired Ragnar H. Ragnar, an Icelandic pianist who was living in the United States, as the first director of the school. Consequently Ragnar moved his family to Ísafjörður where he launched a school which soon became well-known in the Icelandic music life, especially for excellent piano teaching. Many of his piano students have become prominent pianists and musicians. Ragnar directed the school for 36 years, in the last years with the assistance of his wife Sigríður Jonsdottir Ragnar. Since 1984 his daughter, Sigríður Ragnarsdottir, has directed the school, which has grown and developed considerably during this time.

The winters may be long and cold, but the song and music make it warmer and pass more quickly.

The winters may be long and cold, but the song and music make it warmer and pass more quickly.

In the year 1998, in connection with the 50th anniversary of the school, the school building was totally renovated and is now probably one of the best equipped music schools in Iceland. The year after, in September 1999, a concert hall adjacent to the school building was opened. It is called Hamrar, houses an audience of about 150 people, has excellent acoustics and boasts a new excellent concert grand Steinway. Hamrar is used for concerts, conferences and many other occasions.

Sunna Karen gave a performance featuring her on piano, accordian, violin, and vocals. She performed with choirs and her friends. It was amazing to see the students rotate instruments every minute or so! Photo from: Sunna Karen Einarsdóttir

Sunna Karen gave a performance featuring her on piano, accordion, violin, and vocals. The event was so full that extra chairs had to be brought into Hamrar. She performed with two choirs and her music school peers. It was amazing to see the students rotate instruments every minute or so. The musical talent in this town is exceptional!        Photo from: Sunna Karen Einarsdóttir

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