Selected Interviews and Features

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Gramophone Magazine - Contemporary Composers profile

Financial Times - Profile piece

New York Times - "The New York Philharmonic Channels the Chaos of the Cosmos"

Reykjavik Grapevine - “An Ocean of Sound”

Berlin Philharmonic - Female Composers and the Berliner Philharmoniker

National Sawdust Log - "Anna Thorvaldsdóttir: Tales of Intuition and Inspiration"

International Arts Manager - "Imagined land: Anna Thorvaldsdottir"

Music & Literature - "Anna Thorvaldsdottir: A Part of Nature"

WQXR (NYC) - "New Sounds: With Anna Thorvaldsdottir"

New York Times - "The Icelandic Composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Searching for Beauty Amid Brokenness"

5:4 - “The Dialogues: Anna Thorvaldsdóttir”

Die Zeit - "Anna Thorvaldsdottir: So surreal wie das Nordlicht"


Selected Press

“With her music’s humbling vastness and depth of colour, this Icelander is a force to be reckoned with.” - Andrew Mellor, Gramophone

"[Salonen] conducted the radiant premiere of a richly atmospheric piece by the Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir. ... I was captivated by the intricacy of the sounds and colors. Ms. Thorvaldsdottir did indeed take us on a dark journey, episodic yet clear. ... During a few wistful moments, short melodic phrases in a natural minor scale sigh atop mellow harmonies. These seemingly conventional passages actually came across as reflective stops on the promised odyssey through chaos and beauty. ... At Geffen Hall, “Metacosmos” was the highlight." - Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

"A highlight of last season’s New York Philharmonic programming was the local premiere of Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s uncannily tactile “Aeriality,” part of the composer’s appointment as the orchestra’s Kravis Emerging Composer. Observers tend to link Ms. Thorvaldsdottir’s willfully craggy music to the surreal tectonics of her native Iceland. But her expansive works defy such national clichés, and instead frequently channel abstract metaphysical concepts into acutely mysterious forms." - William Robin, The New York Times

"Dreaming opens the sphere of the symphony orchestra in an unusual and innovative way. … the work is perhaps particularly unique by the way it achieves to build and unfold a large form within a sound world that apparently stands still. This work comes closer with every listening, and it makes you curious for more." - Adjudicating Committee, Nordic Council Music Prize 2012

“In her score, [Thorvaldsdottir] asks the players to execute particular passages “with calm & ease and a subtle sense of brokenness.” The beauty of this instruction mirrors the sounds that it produces, infused with a balance of anxiety and luminescence that feels wholly contemporary.” - Will Robin, The New York Times

"Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s “Hrim” was about dispersion — the idea of fragments and motifs traveling through the ensemble, transforming a static harmony into a shimmering, harmonically ambiguous, thoroughly enveloping texture." - Allan Kozinn, The New York Times

"... it was one of the most involving and affecting concerts in several years... Thorvaldsdottir has a notable compositional voice: her unique ability to manipulate her material so that the passage of time is made beautiful." - George Grella, New York Classical Review

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

Selected features and reviews on Aerial - click here for more press on Aerial

Selected among the Ten Notable Performances and Recordings of 2014.
Alex Ross, New Yorker
Full list here

“[Aeriality] is a big spinning planet of a work that, to echo Whitman, contains multitudes of ideas within itself, pregnant with promise from the opening whipcrack of percussion and major-key chord that keeps reasserting itself as tendrils of other sounds curl off it like smoke." Anne Midgette, Washington Post
Full review here

Selected among the 10 recordings of 2014.
“Among the most exciting talents to emerge in recent years, Iceland’s Thorvaldsdottir found a new home for her elemental works on the venerable Deutsche Grammophon label.”
Steve Smith, Boston Globe
Full list here

Selected among Top 10 New Music Recordings of 2014.
“A collection of works for various ensembles, from piano and electronics to full orchestra, from one of Iceland’s most distinctive musical voices – and if you know anything about the new music scene in Iceland, you know that’s saying a lot.”
John Schaefer, New Sounds, WNYC
Full list here

“Thorvaldsdottir's music isn't about straightforward narratives; it creates landscapes that linger, summoning phantom sounds and imaginative possibilities. Nothing I've heard this year has sparked my mind like Aerial.”
Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader
Full review here

Selected features and reviews on In the Light of Air - click here for more press on In the Light of Air

“Ms. Thorvaldsdottir’s music conjures unseen worlds.”
Will Robin, The New York Times
Full review here

“In the Light of Air might sound like it's the aural soul of Iceland... This album is a good way to hear the magic of a faraway place and get a sense of a fascinating young composer on the rise.”
Tom Huizenga, NPR Music
Full feature here

“Throughout the album, [Thorvaldsdottir’s] subtle timbral nuances, poetic textures, and lyrical gestures immerse the listener in austere, somber, and utterly spellbinding soundscapes.”
Maggie Molloy, Second Inversion
Full review here

“The pregnant repetitions of notes, eerie glides along the strings, the harp’s piquant fall: they all become strangely, even disturbingly, alluring, their gathered patterns distilling an unusual blend of calm and unease: Thorvaldsdottír awakens slumbering mysteries.”
Thomas May, Memeteria
Full review here

“Thorvaldsdottir’s compositions combine abstraction, a keen use of space and the sonic field, drones, ritualistic percussion, and surprisingly lush melodies. … [Aerial and In the Light of Air] demonstrate the vastness of Thorvaldsdottir’s compositional imagination and sonic universe.”
Phil Freeman, Burning Ambulance
Full review here

Selected features and reviews on Rhízōma - click here for more press on Rhízoma

“Rhízōma establishes a significant compositional voice.”
Julian Cowley, The Wire Magazine, february 2012 issue.

“Nothing is more exciting than discovering an emerging composer already in possession of a distinct, powerful voice.”
 #3 in The best classical albums of 2011 - Steve Smith, TimeOut New York
Full list here

“Traverses the planes of the terrifying and the intimate.”
In top 10 for The best classical albums of 2011 - Doyle Armbrust, TimeOut Chicago
Full list here

“What makes [Rhizoma] so engrossing is an eye for the minutest of details. If … every snowflake is different, then every note in Thorvaldsdottir’s intricate compositions is equally unique.” 
Q2 Music, New York
Full feature here

"[T]he depth and sumptuousness of the orchestral writing ... turn this into a compelling, even ravishing, creation." 
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
Full review here

Other selected reviews - click here for more press

"In just eight minutes, [Hrim] perfectly encapsulates her uncanny knack for conjuring the natural world - not through quaint, picturesque mimicry, but with potent evocations of elemental power, flux and potential.
Steve Smith, The New York Times
Full review here

"in a concert of strikingly unusual and beautiful music, Ró/Serenity was the standout work. It precisely expresses all of Thorvaldsdottir's values; the dreamlike length, the imagistic colors and sensations, and the organic flow and development built around a strong tonic."
George Grella, New York Classical Review
Full review here