Hafliði Hallgrimsson. Inspiration

Posted on September 27th, 2019 by


With the great hafliði hallgrímsson, who has been a profound influence on my work for 20 years.

I am sitting in Terminal 2 of Heathrow airport, waiting to fly to Reykjavik. Tomorrow (28th September 2019) I am going to play a concert celebrating the amazing music of Hafliði Hallgrimsson (1941-).

I have been lucky enough to have known Hafliði for most of my life as a violinist. In that time, I have performed and recorded his quartets, duos, and most importantly (for me) his works for solo violin, all over the world.

Seven Epigrams – No 1 (Peter Sheppard Skaerved & Neil Heyde)

The concert in Iceland is framed by the two volumes of his ‘Klee Sketches’, a set of miniatures for violin inspired by the work of the Artist/Violinist Paul Klee. This 45 minute cycle has occupied the composer since 2005, when he wrote the first group of four for me to play at the Galeria Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City.

Recital at Galeria Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City

The music is not only always exquisitely beautiful. The scores themselves are always exquisite, to read, and to work with. This is not only a source of joy for me as a player, but offers a clue as to the refined lyrical palate of this composer. My first encounter with his music was in copyists’ handwritings: meeting his own handwriting for the first time, was, and continues to be, a revelation.

A morning rune on my working score of Hafliði Hallgrimsson’s ‘Flight of Time’ 4 5 19