A New Year

2014 was filled with beautiful musical adventures and I am very excited to welcome 2015 with new and continuing projects and collaborations. I will soon write about some of the upcoming projects, but first I wanted to share some thoughts from the end of 2014.

Releasing Aerial through Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Music Classics was truly a great adventure and I am so happy and thankful for the warm reception the album has received. We have gathered press for the album here.

Also wanted to share a video feature that Sinfini Music did in November. Kate Molleson visited me here in Reykjavik, Iceland, and we had a great day of conversations and tea, walking in nature and at Harpa Concert Hall. Marteinn Thorsson was the film director.

Warm wishes into the new year,


Very happy and thankful that Aerial is now out on Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Music Classics.

The works are performed by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the Caput Ensemble, Duo Harpverk, Nordic Affect, members of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Tinna Thorsteinsdottir & Anna ThorvaldsdottirThe recordings were made in Reykjavik at Sundlaugin Studios, Guðríðarkirkja by Georg Magnússon, Greenhouse Studios, and in Harpa Concert Hall by Studio SýrlandSaga Sig took the cover photo and Armann Agnarsson did the cover design.

I am very grateful to be nominated in three categories at the Icelandic Music Awards, for example for Aerial which is nominated as 'Album of the Year'.

Aerial is for example available here and here.

Portrait release on Deutsche Grammophon

I am so grateful and happy that my upcoming album has found its home at Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Music Classics.

The album will be released in November and features a selection of works from the last few years, among them Aeriality for orchestra. The performers on the album are CAPUT Ensemble, Nordic Affect, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, members from the ISO, Duo Harpverk, Tinna Thorsteinsdottir and Anna Thorvaldsdottir.

Warmest thanks to Collin J. Rae who played an absolutely fundamental part in making this happen and to UMC and DGG for welcoming the music.

And thanks to Kraumur Music Fund for helping me get started on the project.


Aequilibria, for chamber orchestra, will be premiered by BIT20 Ensemble in Bergen on September 14th, conducted by Baldur Brönnimann. The work was written for BIT20 and is inspired by various states of balancing forces - by looking at the sky - the natural breath between expansion and contraction, and the perspectives of translucence and opacity.

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.