1-7. Elías Davíðsson
8-16. Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson
Fiðlufrænkur/Icelandic Folk Songs
17. Finnur Torfi Stefánsson
Dísulag III/Dísa´s Song
18-27. Hildigunnur Rúnarsdóttir
Tíu Myndir Fyrir Tvær Fiðlur/Ten Images for Two Violins
28. Jónas Tómasson
29-34. Atli Heimir Sveinsson
Vorið Er Komið/Spring is Here
The origin of Duo Landon reaches back to 2005 when renowned French-born violin and bow maker Christophe Landon commissioned Hlif Sigurjonsdottir and Hjorleifur Valsson, both players of his instruments, to record Bela Bartok’s 44 Duos for release on CD. Stimulated by the positive reception of the disc, the Duo began searching for Icelandic music for two violins, a combination very popular on the continental Europe, and for which many composers have written excellent works. However, only three violin duos were found by Icelandic composers, namely by Thorkell Sigurbjornsson, Elias Davidsson and Finnur Torfi Stefansson. Consequently, Duo Landon commissioned three additional works from Icelandic composers Hildigunnur Runarsdottir, Jonas Tomasson and Atli Heimir Sveinsson, which all responded brilliantly. The works by these six composers are performed on this recording. Martin Frewer, who also plays on a Christophe Landon violin, has replaced Hjorleifur in Duo Landon.
Hlif Sigurjonsdottir was born in Denmark, of a Danish mother and Icelandic father, and grew up in Iceland. Upon graduation from the Reykjavik College of Music, she furthered her violin studies at the Universities of Indiana and Toronto where her teachers were Franco Gulli and Lorand Fenyves, and at the Banff School of Fine Arts. Later she took private lessons in New York from the renowned violinist and teacher Gerald Beal. During the time of her studies, she was fortunate to work with many of the leading musicians of the twentieth century, including William Primrose, Janos Starker, Georges Janzer, Gyorgy Sebok and the members of the Hungarian quartet; Zoltan Szekely, Mihaly Kuttner, Denes Koromzay and Gabor Magyar. Sigurjonsdottir has given numerous concerts as a soloist and with various ensembles and orchestras. She has premiered a number of works, some of which were dedicated to her. A critically acclaimed 2-CD set with her playing the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin by Johann Sebastian Bach was released in 2008.
Martin Frewer was born in Dartford, Kent. He began piano lessons at age six and later he took up the violin. At age twelve, Frewer won a local scholarship to learn both violin and piano. He subsequently spent his undergraduate years at Christ Church, Oxford, during which time he commuted to London for violin lessons with Yfrah Neaman. After earning a degree from Oxford in mathematics, he continued his violin instruction with Neaman at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he also studied viola with Nannie Jaimeson. Frewer has studied with, and taken part in, master classes with Igor Ozim, Martin Loveday, Eric Gruenberg, Almita and Roland Vamos, Peter Guth, Ake Lundeberg and Lin Yaoti. In 1983, he joined the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and has lived in Iceland ever since. He has participated in diverse projects both as soloist and in chamber music, and is also a highly skilled arranger. Utilizing his skills in mathematics, Frewer has also worked as a software designer alongside his musical activities, and recently resigned his position with the Iceland Symphony to devote more time to his interest in chamber music and arranging.