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Nordic Viola

Nordic Viola

"[a] quietly pioneering project" - David Kettle - The Scotsman

David Kettle - The Scotsman

These are fine musicians with strength of fingerwork, bowing and imagination shaping every phrase: there was so much to learn from watching them in performance. The 2nd half took us off to Iceland and to Greenland with such beauty and power of description of ice-bound scenery and powder-blue skies that I for one was ready to stow away on that cruise liner at Hatson for the Magic of the Arctic tour

Robin Barr - The Orcadian

Flexible Ensemble (variable number of performers)

Instrumentation

  • Katherine Wren - Viola
  • David Martin - Viola
  • Helen Brew - Flute
  • David Hubbard - Bassoon
  • Anne Bünemann - Violin
  • Emily Nenniger - Violin
  • Ruth Rowlands - Cello
  • Kevin Duggan - Piano/organ

Repertoire

We are a flexible ensemble ranging from solo viola to 7 players and can tailor our repertoire according to venue size and budget.

Our current programmes include:

A journey around the North Atlantic - music from the Northern Isles to Greenland

Sagas and Seascapes - exploring shared stories and landscapes of the North Atlantic

Histories and Herstories - the North Atlantic viewed through the eyes of women composers

We are also currently developing programmes with poet Lesley Harrison and artist Orla Stevens.

Biography

Nordic Viola will take you on an extraordinary journey in words and music to the Faroe Islands, Orkney and Shetland, Iceland and Greenland. The islands are bound together by a common seafaring heritage and share musical and cultural connections. We attract an open and international audience who are engrossed by landscapes and the histories behind landscapes, offering them music and other artforms, live and digitally, leaving them buzzing and wanting to tell their own stories.Our concerts are informal and we invite audiences to share their own experiences of the North Atlantic with us.

Founded in 2016, Nordic Viola is a flexible ensemble of woodwind and string players forming musical and cultural connections in the North Atlantic Region.

Nordic Viola has performed in the Faroes (Summartónar Festival 2018), Iceland (2016 and 2019) and Greenland (2017). They are frequent visitors to the Northern Isles having completed residencies in Orkney in 2018 and Unst and Lerwick in 2016. They have also played throughout mainland Scotland with highlights including soundfestival in Aberdeen 2018 a reception in the Scottish Parliament for the Arctic Circle Conference in November 2017.They also performed in the RSNO Chamber Series in January 2018.

In March and April 2019 Nordic Viola toured Iceland, performing alongside pianist Arnhildur Valgarðsdóttir in Fella- og Hólakirkja, Reykjavik and Charles Ross in the renowned contemporary arts venue Mengi in Reykjavik and in Slátarhusið, Egilsstaðir. September 2019 saw our first concert in the Hebrides with a performance for the Isle of Coll Music Group.

Nordic Viola has also performed concerts in unusual venues including the famous “Concerto Grotto” cave concerts in the Faroe Islands with Faroese trombonist, Dávur Juul Magnussen.

Nordic Vola has twice been shortlisted for the Scottish Awards for New Music.

We aim to also offer our concerts digitally for those unable to attend in person or in case of unforeseen circumstances such as COVID-19 outbreak.

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