The Iceland Symphony Orchestra is the national orchestra of Iceland, founded in 1950. The Orchestra is a leading institution in the country's cultural sphere. The Orchestra conducts weekly concerts in the Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre and has performed at numerous international festivals and in concert halls abroad. The Orchestra provides various types of concerts within the orchestral field, with school and family concerts, as well as concerts devoted to modern music. A majority of the Orchestra's concerts are broadcast live on radio by the National Broadcasting Service, with some selected concerts televised and broadcast live on the web.
In 1982, the Law on the Symphonic Orchestra of Iceland no. 36/1982 was passed in Parliament. This gives the Symphony Orchestra a secure place in Icelandic culture, acknowledging its role as an important part of the foundation of the Icelandic cultural landscape.
In the orchestral season of 2018-2019, the Orchestra performed 86 concerts and held 42 other events related to their music. An estimated 106,000 people attended the concerts of the season.
The Orchestra also commonly travels to concerts and events abroad. In 2018, the Orchestra embarked on a highly successful three-week tour in Japan, as well as a tour of both Germany and Austria in that same year. The Orchestra has received international critical acclaim, participating in numerous musical works of various types.
The Orchestra also works with various artists and conductors. In the 2018-2019 season, the Orchestra collaborated with around 130 different performers, such as choirs, musicians, actors, comedian and world renowned conductors.
The Iceland Symphony Orchestra is funded both by the Icelandic government as well as the City of Reykjavik. In 2019, 8,670,182 USD (1,184 million ISK) was allocated to the Iceland Symphony Orchestra from the State Treasury. The City of Reykjavik also allocated 1,882,000 USD (257 million ISK) to the Orchestra in 2019.
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Ministry of Education, Science and Culture