Tómas Manoury – Úlfur Hansson – Henri Dutilleux

Tómas Manoury (1979) is French-Icelandic and plays several wind instruments, including the saxophone and the tuba. He also plays the harmonica, as well as being a singer, specializing in overtones and throat singing.

Furthermore, Tómas plays and compose electronic music and has developed experimental electronic instruments where he blends unusual combinations and interactions with live performance. In recent years, he has appeared under the artistic names Mankan with Guðmundur Vignir and KverK in Belgium and Iceland amongst other places. He was chosen last spring to be in residence for the icelandic project Yrkja-Mengi.

Tómas Manoury is a founding member of the wind ensemble Belgistan which, since 2001, has held over 400 concerts both in Europe and the USA. The ensemble performed at the Reykjavik Jazz Festival in 2009 to great success.

Úlfur Hansson (1988) graduated from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2012 and achieved his Masters degree from Mills College, Oakland in 2015.

In the past decade, Úlfur has created his own personal sound world and combined them in his compositions on two solo Cds, Sweaty Palms from 2008 and White Mountain from 2013. For the former he was nominated as the „Brightest Hope“ category of the Icelandic Music Prize. Amongst other recognitions, Úlfur was awarded the Guy Hout Bursary Prize for composition in 2013, the international Rostrum Prize, also in 2013, where he had been nominated by the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service in the category of composers under the age of 30. He received the icelandic President’s Innovation Award in 2013 for his electromagnetic harp, Segulharpa, a new instrument which he developed with a grant from the Icelandic Student Innovation Fund.   

Úlfur has also twice been awarded grants to study at Mills University, as well as a grant from the Rannís Technology Development Fund to complete his development of the electromagnetic harp and to make it ready for production.

Henri Dutilleux was born in Angers, France in 1916 and died in Paris in 2013.

He published few works but achieved international fame and respect. Charles Munch, George Szell, Mstislav Rostropovich, Isaac Stern, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Seiji Ozawa commissioned works from him.

He published two symphonies and a few other orchestral works, concertante pieces including a cello concerto and a violin concerto, pieces for voice and orchestra, a few chamber music pieces, including a very successful string quartet: Ainsi la Nuit, and 10 piano pieces.

Henri Dutilleux did not belong to any school of composition, Debussy, Ravel, Roussel, Stravinsky and Bartok influenced  him, but he made his own way in atonality, making little use of serialism or modality.

A perfectionist, he cared a lot about form and structure and regularly revised his former works.

In Three Preludes for Piano Henri Dutilleux explores the sounds and possibilities of the piano by a subtle use of pedals, full range use of the keyboard and contrasting dynamics. Referential notes and intervals, repetition and variations, symmetry in rhythm and lines, mirror writing for right and left hands are the main features of these difficult but fascinating pieces.