We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.

Icelandic Pianist’s Goldberg Variations Surpasses 20 Million Streams

By Sara Schabas on December 18, 2023

Víkingur Ólafsson
Víkingur Ólafsson. (Courtesy Photo)

Deutsche Grammophon announced Víkingur Ólafsson’s recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations has been streamed over 20 million times.

What’s Up: This week, the recording label Deutsche Grammophon announced in a press release that Víkingur Ólafsson’s 2023 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations has been streamed over 20 million times. The album was released in October, achieving the Icelandic pianist pop star status as far as classical music streaming numbers are concerned. 

Refresher: Víkingur Ólafsson, 39, grew up in Reykjavík before moving to New York City to study at the Juilliard School. He has performed with countless orchestras around the world including the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 2016, he signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon (DG). His albums with DG, including Philip Glass Piano Works (2017), Johann Sebastian Bach (2018), Debussy Rameau (2020), Mozart & Contemporaries (2021) and From Afar (2022), have been streamed over 600 million times.

Digging Deeper: This season, Ólafsson is focusing solely on Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which he will perform 88 times worldwide over the course of the year. Ólafsson describes the piece as “like a life cycle,” in which he revels in the individuality of each of Bach’s variations. This differs from how Glenn Gould played the piece in his 1981 recording, in which Gould sought stylistic cohesiveness within Bach’s 30 variations. Fans of Gould’s may enjoy hearing Ólafsson’s very different take.

Sara Schabas
comments powered by Disqus


company logo

Part of

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy
© 2024 | Executive Producer Moses Znaimer