Ilan Volkov has been appointed music director and chief conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. His contract begins next season (2011-2012), and coincides with the orchestra’s first in the newly-built Harpa concert hall.
The 34-year old Israeli musician will conduct the orchestra for six weeks in the first season, and nine weeks for the subsequent two (the initial contract is for three years). He will also curate an annual festival of contemporary music, which will also feature non-classical musicians, beginning in March 2012.
Well known to UK audiences as chief conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra from 2003-2009, Volkov’s recordings have included works by Stravinsky and Britten for the Hyperion label, and music by Jonathan Harvey for NMC (which won the Gramophone contemporary music award in 2008).
Commenting on his new role, Volkov said: “The extremely interesting and vibrant music scene in Iceland creates unique artistic opportunities. Having enjoyed working with the orchestra on a number of occasions, I am very much looking forward to a close association with the players and presenting adventurous and challenging programmes.” He succeeds Rumon Gamba in the role, who leaves after an eight-year tenure.