About Daniel Bjarnason
Daniel Bjarnason is one of Iceland's most prominent composers, earning performances for his music in the U.S. and continental Europe as well as in his home country. He also has a flourishing career as a conductor.
Bjarnason (byarn-ah-SAHN) was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on February 26, 1979. His parents were Icelandic, and he grew up in Reykjavik, where he studied piano, composition, and conducting. Bjarnason moved to Germany for orchestral conducting studies at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, and he has often conducted his own music. He first gained wide attention in 2003 for Solitudes, a concerto for grand piano and prepared piano (played by a single pianist) with orchestra. His orchestral works found performances with such major ensembles as the Britten Sinfonia, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in Australia, and the Sinfonietta Cracovia in Poland, and he has engaged in recurring collaborations with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, James Conlon, and Ivan Volkov have programmed his music. In 2015, Bjarnason began a three-year term as composer-in-residence with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, and in 2019, he moved on to a similar position at the Muziekgebouw Frits Philips in Eindhoven in the Netherlands. As a conductor, Bjarnason has led such important ensembles as the BBC Philharmonic, the NDR Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Toronto Symphony, and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with artists outside the world of classical music, including Ben Frost, Sigur Rós, and Brian Eno.
Bjarnason has written works in a variety of media, including orchestral music, concertos, chamber music, choral music, an opera (Brothers, 2017), and film scores. His music has been issued in traditional classical recording formats but is best known from his solo albums, which began to appear in 2010 with Processions, on his Bedroom Community label. He moved to Sono Luminus for Recurrence in 2017 and has since released Concurrence (2019) and Occurrence (2021) there. ~ James Manheim