THE Iceland Symphony Orchestra will be making its first appearance in the UK under a new conductor at a Basingstoke theatre.

Chief conductor Eva Ollikainen and the orchestra will be coming to The Anvil on Friday, April 28.

The programme includes Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s sublime Metacosmos. The 14-minute work explores the natural balance between beauty and chaos and the emergence of the former from the latter.

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This is followed by Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto, a breakthrough piece after years of creative block, with Sir Stephen Hough as soloist. The piece’s passionate and lyrical character has deservedly made it a favourite amongst his works.

Finally, Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony was composed on his return to Russia in 1888 after a successful European concert tour. The slow movement is pure melody, while the finale is a burst of excitement and orchestral colour.

Eva Ollikainen began her tenure as chief conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra at the start of the 2020-21 season.

“Now we have the chance to share what we’ve been doing together with audiences in the UK. Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov speak to universal emotions and feelings, just as Anna Thorvaldsdottir does in her music,” she said.

Thorvaldsdottir’s Metacosmos is, as the composer notes, rooted as much in the human experience as it is in the creative chaos of the universe. The piece was inspired by the notion of falling into a black hole in space, a metaphor for the unknown. It was written for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and was first performed by it with Esa-Pekka Salonen.

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Anna will travel with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra on its UK tour and take part in pre-concert talks.

Eva said: “Listening to her music feels like a purification process for the mind and soul. It is always a rich mental and spiritual journey. I’m thrilled we’re performing Metacosmos on tour. The Iceland Symphony Orchestra’s players are outstanding and it’s always a joy to perform works by living composers with them.”

For more information about the show and to book tickets residents are encouraged to visit