The Blue Church
The Blue Church in Seyðisfjörður is one of the most recognisable landmarks in Iceland. With its distinct colour and buildingstyle it has become a popular spot for tourists. The church used to stand at Dvergasteinn farm and in 1882 it was moved to Vestdalseyri. At first the church stood on a hill overlooking Vestdalseyri but in 1894 it was blown over and damaged by a huge storm. The church was rebuilt, this time down on the peninsula and stood there until 1920 when the decision was made to move to its present location in the heart of Seyðisfjörður. In 1989 the the Blue Church was damaged by fire when renovation work was being carried out on the building and a pipe organ that was installed in 1987 was ruined by the flames. Today the Blue Church has a pipe organ of the same type as the one that was lost to the fire.
The Blue Church is open to visitors in the summer.
Open through June – July – August 2018
Monday – Friday from 10:00-17:00
The church is also open during the stay of cruise ships.
The Blue Church Summer Concert Series was founded in 1998 by Muff Worden, musician and Sigurður Jónsson engineer. The concerts are held in the church of Seyðisfjörður on Wednesday nights in July and early August. The aim is to offer a program consisting of different music styles, where classical music, jazz and blues, folk music and lighter music get to shine. The performers are usually highly qualified musicians.
The Seyðisfjörður church is a good concert house, praised by the performers. It houses a fairly new Steinway grand piano and a Frobenius organ with 14-15 stops. It has seats for 300 people. The concert guests are both locals and foreign travellers.
The program 2018 :
4. July Olga Vocal Ensemble – It‘s a Womans World
The concert’s theme is feminism celebrating female artists from the last 1000 years. The program offers pieces by Hildebgard von Bingen, born in 1098 and Barbara Strozzi living in the 16th century as well as songs made famous by Nina Simone, Édith Piaf and Billie Holliday. In addition the ensemble will perform four songs composed specially for Olga.
Olga Vocal Ensemble started in 2012 and had its first concert in Iceland in the summer of 2013, visiting the country every year since. Its members are five boys living in the Netherlands; the Deutch Jonathan Ploeg andArjan Lienaerts, the Englishman Matthew Lawrence Smith, the Russian American Philip Barkhudarov and the Icelander Pétur Oddbergur Heimisson.
11. July Tourlou music – Traditional folk music in new arrangements
Tourlou is an international folk trio based in Utrecht (Holland) and formed by Mayumi Malotaux, Anna Vala Ólafsdóttir and David Alameda Márquez.
Since 2016 Tourlou has been collecting, arranging and performing traditional music from different countries within Europe and beyond.
Songs, tunes and dances are interpreted with a combination of three voices, two violins, a mandolin, a viola d’amore and a cello. Special emphasis is given to the lyrics of the songs which are sung in more than 10 different languages. Tourlou’s repertoire consists of a combination of instrumental tunes and vocal songs. Performances of these songs are preceded by an English introduction to contextualize the music, and thereby the text is made accessible to the audience. A Tourlou performance is a middle ground between a concert and a storytelling where the audience is taken on an international journey through music.
Their repertoire includes music from Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Scotland, France, Holland, Spain, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Armenia, Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Romania, as well as music from the Sephardic tradition.
18. July Magga Stína and band
Magga Stína along with her band performs her own music . She is a singer, actress, teacher and various other things. She has published music with the bands Hringir and Risaeðlur, with Megas and has sung on many other albums with other musicians.
25. July Ösp og Örn Eldjárn ásamt Valeria Pozzo
Hailing from a valley in the North of Iceland, Ösp makes music that reflects the folk songs of her native country and absorbs the artistry of contemporary London songwriting. She carries with her a fine Icelandic tradition of soaring melody-led songs of glacial beauty and striking emotional power.
After studying classical singing and jazz singing, Ösp moved to London in the Autumn of 2011 to pursue a solo career, having released two successful albums with her brother and friends, as the band Brother Grass. Inspired by the vocals of Ella Fitzgerald, the stories of Joni Mitchell and by her own Nordic folk roots, she began to write her own songs and published the album Tales from a poplar tree in 2017.
This summer she will be hitting the road with her brother Örn Eldjárn will be hitting the road, together with London based artist Valeria Pozzo.
1. August Muff Worden tribute – Bergþór, Diddú og Anna Guðný.
To celebrat the 20th anniversary of the concert series a tribute program has been made to celebrate the memory of Muff Worden. She was one of the two founders of the series and died, before her time, in 2006. The program consists of music and speech. Bergþór Pálsson, Diddú and Anna Guðný Guðmundsdóttir will perform the music. They are well known musicians in Iceland and have often performed in the Blue Church.