Park Avenue Armory - Mostly Mozart

I had such a wonderful time in NYC with ICE last week when we gave a concert at the Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival at the Park Avenue Armory. The pieces on the program were, Shades of Silence, into - Second Self, & In the Light of Air. It was so great to work with ICE as always, and the staff at the Armory was amazing. I am also very thankful for the number of writings about the concert that followed - here are some quotes and links, and some pics from the event as well.

Photo © Richard Termine

New York Times
"Ms. Thorvaldsdottir’s music has a natural beauty to it in the way it reveals itself patiently, and in its unpredictable but organic-seeming instances of rhythmic quickening." Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim

Photo © Richard Termine

New York Classical Review
"On Tuesday evening in the Park Avenue Armory’s Board of Officers Room, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) played an all-Thorvaldsdottir program as part of the Mostly Mozart festival, and it was one of the most involving and affecting concerts in several years... The concert, augmented by her recent recording Rhízoma (Innova), left a strong impression that Thorvaldsdottir has a notable compositional voice: her unique ability to manipulate her material so that the passage of time is made beautiful." George Grella

Photo © Richard Termine

Classical Voice North America
"Here is a composer with a distinctive sound world, and the ability to choose, from a wide textural palette, the most apt instrumental effect for a given moment. Yet, unlike some who toil in the au courant genre of the soundscape, she also knows how to build and sustain tension and convey emotion while evoking the vast sweep of the ages." Barbara Jepson

Photo © Richard Termine

Feast of Music
"Thorvaldsdottir’s music itself was overwhelmingly beautiful and huge in scope. Her slow tempos draw easy comparisons to the vast sonic landscapes of John Luther Adams, and the constantly evolving cadential figures bring to mind the dense polyphony of Béla Bartók's string quartets, with their scratched notes and bows across the bridge." Robert Leeper

Innova Recordings

It has now been two and a half years since my debut portrait album - Rhízōma - was released through Innova Recordings. Innova focuses on release of primarily US-based contemporary music in a variety of genres and is a great label to check out for exciting new music from that part of the world - their catalogue has a great variety of music by living composers and contemporary music performers. Here is a link to their website.

I am deeply thankful for having had my debut album released with them, they are extremely professional and efficient and their model is very reasonable for this genre in music.

Thanks again for all your work Philip, Chris, Steve, and ACF.

In the Light of Air premiere

In the Light of Air was premiered at the Reykjavik Arts Festival in Harpa Concert Hall on May 25th 2014, performed by the amazing International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).

Here are a couple of movements from the work - Luminance & Existence - documented at the premiere. The entire work is in 4 movements and takes 43 minutes in duration, with transitions, the prologue and epilogue.

The work received its Washington premiere at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on May 29th and I am very excited about the NY premiere of the work which will take place at the Mostly Mozart Festival on August 19th at the Park Avenue Armory.

Work in progress for BIT20 Ensemble

I am currently working on a new piece for the Norwegian ensemble BIT20 that will be premiered on September 14th in Bergen at their season opening concert which also marks their 25th anniversary.

The work is titled aequilibria  -  here are some pics from the work in progress.

picture taken by Hrafn Asgeirsson

picture taken by Hrafn Asgeirsson

picture taken by Hrafn Asgeirsson


Here is a recording of Luminance, the first movement of In the Light of Air. This recording is from the Sweet Thunder Festival in San Francisco last April.

The entire work was then premiered at the Reykjavik Arts Festival on May 25th and received its US premiere at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington on May 29th.

In the Light of Air

I have been working on this piece for quite some time and am very excited to now be in rehearsals with ICE in NY. The score is 107 pages and holds 43 minutes of music, as well as an installation and interactive light constellation for atmospheric finish touch during a live performance.

The work is in four main movements, Luminance, Serenity, Existence & Remembrance, tied together through connecting materials.

The work will be premiered at the Reykjavik Arts Festival on May 25th in Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, followed by a performance at the Atlas Arts Performing Center three days later, and then at the Mostly Mozart Festival in NYC in August along with a couple of other pieces.

Before that all happens, we have a premiere of the first movement of the work presented at the Sweet Thunder Festival in San Francisco on April 25th.

Reykjavik Visual Music

Trajectories, a new piece for electronics, piano and visuals was premiered at the festival of Reykjavik Visual Music in Reykjavik on January 30th. The work is a collaboration with visual artist Sigurður Guðjónsson who worked on the visuals.


During the performance we had 3 large screens and a powerful audio system at Silfurberg hall in Harpa, and Tinna Þorsteinsdóttir performed the live piano part surrounded by the visuals.


An electronic version of the work is now being featured at the Reykjavik Art Museum, harbor house, at the exhibition Cadences of Line and Color, and will be up until early April.


Happy New Year 2014

2013 was very eventful with many wonderful new collaborations, beautiful musical connections and events.

I am very much looking forward to new musical adventures in 2014. Some of the upcoming events in the coming few months include; a premiere of Trajectories, for piano, fixed electronics & video projection, at the Reykjavik Center for Visual Music on January 30th; the Iceland premiere of , for chamber ensemble, written for and performed by CAPUT at Dark Music Days on January 31st; a performance of Hidden, for percussionist on grand piano, on February 7th performed by Justin DeHart at ARTShareLA at Wasteland's inaugural concert; performance by ICE at the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players' festival on April 25th and US premiere of In the Light of Air, a new piece written for ICE, at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington DC among many other performances and events.

Then later in the year there will be a new portrait CD release with recordings of selected pieces performed by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, CAPUT Ensemble and Nordic Effect, among other performers!

As for current compositions in progress I am in the final stages of working on the new piece for ICE, as well as working on a new piece for chamber orchestra for the Norwegian BIT20 ensemble that will be premiered in the fall conducted by their artistic director and main conductor Baldur Brönnimann.

I am also starting to work on an opera which will be premiered in the fall of 2015 at the Ultima Festival in Oslo with following performances in other venues and places. This is a very exciting project involving artist from around the Nordic countries. It will truly be an adventure working on this piece as the project takes us, involved, on journeys to Greenland and other places for workshops and collaborations with artist from various genres in art. It is collaborations like these that makes art grow beyond boundaries and is an immensely valuable and productive way to make large projects come true. Click here for more information about the Far North opera project.


Have a wonderful 2014 with nourishing events, connections and happy adventures.

Here is a short glimpse into the merger of 2013/2014 at the new years in the Reykjavik suburbs.


Portrait Concert in NYC & Visual Music in Reykjavík


Had a great trip to New York City where the Either/Or Ensemble gave a wonderful performance of a selection of my pieces on December 5th at the Miller Theatre. It was truly a pleasure working with David Shively, Richard Carrick, all the other performers of Either/Or and the staff at the Theatre for the week leading up to the concert.
Here is what Steve Smith wrote about the concert at The New York Times.


Now, back in Reykjavik, working on the final touches of a new work for the Reykjavik Center for Visual Music that, in collaboration with Punto y Raya and Dark Music Days, will present a new music festival in Reykjavik at the end of January. The new piece is for piano and electronics along with a video projection, and it is a collaboration between myself and visual artist Sigurður Guðjónsson who is working on the video. The piece will be premiered on January 30th in Harpa Concert Hall. The program is very intriguing and features many great artists. Here is a trailer for the festival, published by Punto y Raya:

Recording sessions

I am very excited to be recording music for the upcoming portrait album with wonderful performers. The album will be released in 2014 and the label that will be handling the release will be announced early next year.

I had a great recording session with Duo Harpverk at the Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik the other day recording Tactility (2013), for percussion & harp. It is always a pleasure to work with those two - Frank and Katie are such darlings. 

Also, I just posted a short excerpt from Shades of Silence on the audio page, performed by Nordic Affect.

We are currently planning recording sessions for November of three more pieces, e.g. with CAPUT.
More info about the release soon!