Music News

Ólafur Arnalds Launches Festival, Label and Community Hub OPIA

BAFTA-winning and Grammy-nominated composer and producer Ólafur Arnalds has launched OPIA, ‘a new multidisciplinary initiative focused on strengthening the scene where modern classical music meets electronic, inspiring curious creatives and art lovers alike.’ The initiative will encompass a travelling festival, a record label, and a community centred around Arnalds’ Discord channel. A launch concert has been announced in Berlin, headlined by Arnalds himself, taking place on October 18th.

OPIA had a stunted beginning, originally launching as a one-day festival at London’s Southbank Centre. While the event sold out and was a great success, with performances from Hania Rani, Poppy Ackroyd, Arnalds and his side-project Kiasmos, the ensuing pandemic put all physical plans on pause. However, the OPIA community began steadily growing online.

On this relaunch four years later, Arnalds says: “Coming from the small, close-knit music scene in Iceland, community and collaboration in music has always been hugely important for my creative output. In this age of streaming algorithms and social disconnect, I wanted to establish a place to meet, talk and create, to inspire and be inspired. That was the idea behind the first OPIA and I am ecstatic to finally bring it back in this new and revitalised form. My hope is that OPIA can host an environment where creativity thrives through real-life experiences and connections.”

The October 18th launch concert will be headlined by Ólafur Arnalds & Friends, taking place at Silent Green Kulturquartier in Berlin’s Wedding district. Support comes from Icelandic singer-songwriter JFDR, with whom Arnalds collaborated on his song Back To The Sky, and also a set from Costa Rican composer and pianist Sofi Paez, who Arnalds has featured on his BBC Sounds series Ultimate Calm.

You can read the latest Headliner cover story interview with Ólafur Arnalds here.