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Schola Cantorum Reykjavik

Schola Cantorum Reykjavik

Schola cantorum is a chamber choir of 12 professional singers, which was founded in 1996 by the conductor Hörður Áskelsson, the cantor at Hallgrímskirkja (Hallgrim's Church) in Reykjavík.

The choir released its first album, Principium, in 1999 with choral music from the 16th and 17th century by composers such as Tallis, Byrd, Schein and Gesualdo. On it's second CD, Audi creator coeli, Schola cantorum sings in contrast only Icelandic contemporary music most of which was premiered by the choir.

Other recordings in the choir's repertoire include the choral-orchestral compositions of Jón Leifs in collaboration with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, including the epic Oratorio Edda I for which the choir received excellent reviews. These recordings were issued on the Swedish label BIS. The choir has also recorded with the esteemed Björk on her album Medulla, which was recorded almost entirely with vocals.

Schola cantorum has held concerts in Norway, Finland, Italy, Spain, Germany and France and has also won prizes in international competitions in Picardy, France in 1998 and Gorizia, Italy in 2002. They have also performed several times with alternative band Sigur Rós and Björk both domestically and abroad.

Schola cantorum appears regularly in the Festival of Sacred Arts at Hallgrimskirkja, which is held bi-annually in Iceland. In this festival the choir, in collaboration with The Hague International Baroque Orchestra, has premiered in Iceland works like Joshua and Israel in Egypt by Händel. They have also collaborated in performances of the Weihnachts-Oratorium by Bach and Händel's Messiah on his 250th anniversary.

In recognition of their achievements Schola cantorum was appointed ‘City of Reykjavík Official Music Group' for the year 2006 and was also nominated for the Nordic Music Prize in 2007.