Stamp of the Month: July 2018

Jón Leifs

The Icelandic composer and conductor Leif Jón was born on May 1, 1899 on the island Sólheimar. He died on July 30, 1968 in Reykjavik. July 2018 marks his 50th memorial anniversary.
From 1916 to 1921, Jón Leifs studied music at the conservatory in Leipzig and was then very successful in Germany, Czechoslovakia and the Nordic countries as a conductor. In 1926 he first conducted a symphony orchestra on the Faroe Islands and Iceland. In addition to his concert career, he collected the folk songs of his native for the Phonogram Archive of the Berlin Academy of Music, wrote numerous concert reviews as well as articles about

Island 22.1.1999
Nordic folk music for various newspapers. From 1935, he was musical director of the National Icelandic Radio for several years. He later founded the Icelandic Association of Composers and the Icelandic copyright society. As a composer, he saw it as his mission to give Iceland a unique musical identity. Basis of his vocal works are the poems of Icelandic poets and his orchestral works depict Icelandic natural forces as geysers, drift ice and volcanic eruptions.

The video shows the New Era Orchestra conducted by Tetiana Kalinichenko with Jón Leif’s last composition “Consolations – Intermezzo for Strings, Op 66”. The recording was taken during the Gogol Festival 2010 in Kiev.