Founded in 1997, The South Iceland Chamber Choir is well known for its versatile repertoire ranging from jazz and pop music to compositions reflecting the newest trends in contemporary music.
In November 2013, in Southwark Cathedral in London, the choir premiered Three Shakespeare Sonnets by Sir John Tavener, written especially for the choir. There the choir also performed Islands by the Welsh composer Jack White along with a number of new Icelandic compositions. The concert was a huge success and the choir was lauded for the performance. The concert unexpectedly turned into a memorial concert for Sir John Tavener as he had passed away only three days before, resulting in massive media coverage in the British and international press. The choir performed at the Reykjavik Art Festival with the world-renowned soprano Patricia Rozario, premiering Three Shakespeare Sonnets in Iceland. The choir was then invited to perform a memorial concert for Sir Tavener at the Salisbury International Arts Festival in June 2014 and attended the Umeå International Choir Festival as honorary guest performers the same month.
The choir was honored to be favored by Sir John Tavener to premiere some of his works and enjoyed this collaboration and friendship for over a decade. The record Heilagur draumur (Sacred Dream) was chosen the CD of the month in 2010 by the revered musical magazine Gramophone and nominated for the Icelandic Music Awards and Kraumur record award.
The choir has performed at numerous venues and festivals, e.g. Reykjavik Jazz Festival, Dark Music Days and the Tectonics festival in 2013 where it premiered a piece by Jessika Keney and Eyvind Kang with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. It also performed with visual artist Magnús Pálsson “The Cross” at the Reykjavik Arts Festival in 2013. The choir performed as well in the newly composed opera “Ragnheiður” by Gunnar Þórðarsson in Skálholt that summer and has performed numerous times at the Skálholt Summer Concerts Festival.
The South Iceland Chamber Choir collaborates with ÚTÓN (Icelandic Music Export) and the record label Smekkleysa, and its European agent and collaborator is Curated Place in Manchester with Andy Brydon in the forefront. The choir is supported by the Art Council in England and Nordic Culture Point and has been awarded a grant by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
Founder and musical director of the choir is Hilmar Örn Agnarsson.