Víkingur Ólafsson & Consortium

Víkingur Ólafsson

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre


One of the world’s most exciting and must-see pianists of the moment.

Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson is internationally lauded as ‘a pianist of rare technical brilliance and interpretive depth’ (The New York Times). He epitomises both virtuoso and storyteller with a magnetism that enraptures audiences across the world.

Receiving a five-star review for his recent concert at Royal Festival Hall London playing the Goldberg Variations, Ólafsson ‘was a hypnotic presence at the keyboard, a rangy giant whose head bent so low at times his nose nearly brushed the keys. His poetic body language wasn’t just engaging to watch, it carved up time, placing each variation within a dramatic framework’ (The Guardian UK).

Under Ólafsson’s distinctive musicality and interpretations, the piano becomes a portal, where each keystroke weaves intricate musical narratives that meld classical tradition with contemporary innovation and exploration. Whether he is playing Bach, Debussy, or Philip Glass, Ólafsson enters an insightful state of immersion, connecting deeply with every note, emotion, and nuance in a must-see visceral concert experience.

From the ethereal landscapes of Iceland to the grandeur of Carnegie Hall, Ólafsson’s intrepid artistry transcends borders and genres. He takes the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall stage as part of his highly anticipated world tour, marking the release of his latest recording, Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The Goldberg Variations hold a profound place in classical music history, revered for its unparalleled complexity and elegance. Composed in the early 18th century, this masterpiece weaves a tapestry of intricate variations around a simple aria, showcasing Bach’s incomparable craftsmanship. The technical brilliance and emotional depth of the work affirm its timelessness, and under the hands of Víkingur Ólafsson, is certain to transport both seasoned classical connoisseurs and newcomers alike.

Prepare to experience ‘a hypnotic reading that added up to considerably more than the sum of the work’s 32 parts’ (The Guardian UK).

This is a Dynamic Double Set experience: a musical matching of artists designed to enhance your concert experience.

Post-Concert Talk

Following this extraordinary performance, Víkingur Ólafsson joins Melbourne Recital Centre’s Director of Programming, Marshall McGuire, for a 20-minute discussion about his artistry, career, and more. A perfect conclusion to your musical experience.

Read the Program Notes
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Artists & Program


This is a Dynamic Double Set experience: a musical matching of artists designed to enhance your concert experience.

Set 1
7.30pm – 7.50pm: Consortium, viol consort
Comprising Australia’s finest viol players, Consortium performs a rich and evocative program featuring Dowland, Weelkes, Byrd and more – a stirring pathway into Víkingur Ólafsson’s immersive interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations.


Set 2
8.10pm – 9.40pm: Víkingur Ólafsson, piano


Set 1: Consortium
John Dowland
Mr John Langton’s Pavan
Mr Thomas Collier his Galliard

Thomas Weelkes
Pavan from Mr Weelkes his 3 Pavin

William Lawes
Consort Set a 5 in G minor Fantazya a 5

Christopher Tye
In nomine, ‘Round’

William Byrd
Prelude and Ground, ‘The Queen’s Goodnight’

Set 2: Víkingur Ólafsson
Johann Sebastian Bach
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988

Experience Guide

See.png See one of the most exciting and acclaimed pianists of the moment.

Hear.png Hear the iconic Goldberg Variations by one of the greatest composers of the classical era.

Think.png Think about the important role artists of today play in sustaining classical music’s evolution and significance.

Feel.png Feel riveted, emotionally energised, on the pulse.


This production is part of the following series: