Ensembles and performers

Andrés Þór is a musician from Hafnarfjörður, Iceland. He works both as a composer and performer and graduated from the Iceland University of the Arts in composition in 2019. He also writes music for theatre and likes that very much.
Hallveig Kristín Eiríksdóttir is a performance, theatre & visual artist dividing her time between Reykjavík and Helsinki.\ Her work reflects on post-humanity, nature’s voice and rights, historical fan-fiction and decentering the human condition in various contexts. She enjoys investigating the borders to other media and works within the realm of performance, theatre, painting and radio. Most of her work happens in collaboration, and she is one of four founding members of multi-art group CGFC & performance group Losti Collective, with whom she is active. Other recent collaborators include dance duo Acquaintances, performance group Konserta and composer Eygló Höskuldsdóttir.
Ana Luisa Diaz de Cossio is a violinist and experimental artist, whose work explores social phenomena as well as spontaneity and resonance in space. Through extended techniques, Ana challenges conventional violin playing, exploring the limits of sound within the instrument. \ With a keen interest in experimental music, Ana has taken workshops with the Road Ensemble, Collaboratory-Paris as part of Manifesté at IRCAM, and has been part of the Berklee Interdisciplinary Arts Institute, Harvard Chamber Music Festival, Dark Music Days, Time for Music, Next Festival of Emerging Artists among others. She currently holds fellowships from Conacyt-Cultura to finance her studies and bespoken which is a platform for artist-leaders. Ana holds degrees from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Listaháskoli Íslands.
Athanasia Kotronia is a composer and performer based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her work is based around the personal and intimate. She has worked with different chamber music constellations such as Copenhagen-based ensemble K!ART, The Esbjerg Ensemble, Ensemble YARN/ WIRE and the Danish Radio Vocal Ensemble. As a performer, she has a theatre background and incorporates that in her performances with electronic or electroacoustic components. Athanasia actively works as an organizer and curator in the new music scene in Sweden through the organization Konstmusiksystrar and in Denmark as a part of UNM Denmark’s board.
Baldvin Ingvar Tryggvason began his clarinet study at the age of 8 years old at the Music School of Álftanes, in Iceland, but later transferred to Reykjavík College of Music to study with Kjartan Óskarsson. In the fall of 2011, he began his BMus course at the Iceland Academy of Arts where his teacher was Einar Johannesson. In 2014 he began his Master’s degree at the Royal College of Music in London, studying under Barnaby Robson, Richard Hosford and Michael Collins. Baldvin has performed with various orchestras, including Iceland Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Cambridge City Orchestra and Elja Ensemble. \ In 2014 he won the Iceland Symphony Orchestra: Young Soloists competition and performed the Copland clarinet concerto with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. He has performed Masterclasses with various performers, including Maximiliano Martin, Gregory Barret, Guido Arbonelli and Martin Fröst.
Bjarni Daníel (he/they) is a musician, program director & DJ at the Icelandic National Radio (RÚV), and an organizer within Reykjavík-based music & arts collective Post-dreifing. Most of their work, creative as well as organisational, can be connected to themes of collaboration and community and is largely characterised by a dedication to the DIT (Do-It-Together) ethos.
Bjarni Frímann has been Music Director of the Icelandic Opera since 2018, following his debut there with Tosca in 2017 for which he received unanimous critical and public acclaim. He was conductor in residence with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra from 2018-2021 and has been the conductor of chamber orchestra ELJA in Reykjavík since its founding in 2017. \ His activity as pianist chamber musician has taken Bjarni Frímann to stages all over Europe and the Americas, among them Philharmonie Berlin, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Grand Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and Wigmore Hall in London. A close collaborator with Björk, he has shared the stage with her at many of the world’s leading stages as conductor, accordionist and cembalist alike.\ Bjarni Frímann was born in Iceland 1989. He studied violin and composition in Reykjavík and conducting in Berlin.
Björg Brjánsdóttir graduated from the Norwegian Academy of Music in the spring of 2017. She has also pursued flute studies at Music Universities in Hanover, Munich and Copenhagen. Her main professors were Anna Dina Björn-Larsen, Andrew Cunningham, Per Flemström and Stephanie Hamburger.\ Björg is the founder of Elja chamber orchestra, which has been prominent in the Icelandic music scene for the last years. Björg is also the flautist of the new music group Caput and performs regularly with various symphony orchestras in Germany, Norway and Iceland. In addition to freelancing as an orchestra musician, Björg has worked closely with many composers and specialised in performing new music, f.ex. as a soloist in Bára Gísladóttir’s VÍDDIR which is nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize 2022.\ Björg was nominated as Performer of the Year (the category of classical and contemporary music) at the Iceland Music Awards 2022. She is also a member of the flute septet Viibra and tours around the world with Björk along with playing on Björk’s album Utopia.
Breki Sigurðarson (2000) started his music journey in Tónlistarskóli Garðabæjar when he was 8 years old, where he started playing alto-horn. Soon after he changed to playing the tuba. In 2016 he switched schools and began studying in Iceland’s music high school: Menntaskólinn í Tónlist. There, in 2019 he finished his final examination on the tuba and is the only tuba player in Iceland to finish such an exam. Since then, he has, on a few occasions, played with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. In 2020, Breki started a bachelor’s program in composition at the Iceland University of the arts, which he plans on completing in the spring of 2023.
CGFC is an experimental performance art group from Reykjavík, Iceland. It was founded in 2015 by Arnar Geir Gústafsson (performer and sociologist), Ýr Jóhannsdóttir (textile designer and performer), Birnir Jón Sigurðsson (performer and director) and Hallveig Kristín Eiríksdóttir (performer and director). CGFC was originally formed as a punk band, but the group’s work has since then expanded into theatre performance, live art, video and textile installations. Their work is driven by experiments with textiles and performance and is often characterised by their use of recycled materials. Their most notable production, in co-operation with the Reykjavík City Theatre, is Potatoes which was nominated for Gríman - The Icelandic Theatre Awards as Best Play in 2020. The play was picked up by the National Broadcasting Company of Iceland and premiered as a three-part radio drama on March 6th 2021.
Elja is an Icelandic chamber orchestra known for its lively and energetic performances in recent years. The ensemble held its debut concert in December 2017 and has since performed various concerts in Iceland. Its members are some of Iceland’s most advanced young musicians, most of whom have already established themselves as some of the country’s most active performers, conductors, and artists. Many of Elja’s members studied together at the Reykjavik College of Music and the Iceland University of the Arts before pursuing further education abroad. \ Elja’s goal is to give exciting and energetic performances that reach the audience on a personal level. The ensemble is dedicated to varied and innovative programming and seeks to engage, not just with traditional classical styles, but with a broad range of musical styles and genres.v\ Upcoming projects of Elja include the continuation of the Feima Festival in Harpa Concert Hall, which seeks to shed light on works and performances by female composers of different genres, and a New Years’ Eve Concert in Norðurljós, whose program will include the premiere of a new work by Gunnar Andreas Kristinsson.\ Elja’s conductor is Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason.
Icelandic baritone Gunnlaugur Bjarnason comes from Selfoss where he began his music studies, first playing the trumpet and the trombone. His first time singing in front of other people was when he was 14 years old at band practice, where he screamed Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley. Having gained the confidence to sing he started singing lessons and is now studying for his Master’s in classical singing at the Royal Conservatoire in Den Haag. Gunnlaugur has performed at many classical song concerts but also collaborated with visual artists, such as Sigrún Gyða Sveinsdóttir and Eva Bjarnadóttir.\ In September 2022 Gunnlaugur will make his operatic debut, performing a leading role in the new Icelandic opera, Mærþöll, with opera company Animato. \ Gunnlaugur has a BA degree in Icelandic literature and linguistics and since 2020 he has co-hosted a popular podcast on Icelandic mediaeval literature with professor Ármann Jakobsson, Flimtan og fáryrði.
The Icelandic cellist and conductor Hjörtur Páll Eggertsson was five years old when he started playing the cello. He studied under the guidance of Gunnar Kvaran and Sigurgeir Agnarsson at the Reykjavík College of Music before moving to Copenhagen in 2017, where he continued his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with Morten Zeuthen and Toke Møldrup. As a cellist, Hjörtur has participated as a chamber musician and soloist in various festivals and engagements around Europe. Alongside his cello studies in Copenhagen, Hjörtur began studying conducting in the fall of 2020, when he was admitted to the Malko Academy for Young Conductors. Since then he has participated in masterclasses given by Herbert Blomstedt and Fabio Luisi as well as conducting concerts with Athelas Sinfonietta and the DR Vokalensemblet.
Ingibjörg Fríða is a singer with a diverse background and has finished both classical and rhythmic music studies in Iceland. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Creative Music Communication from the Iceland University of the Arts, with an exchange semester at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. In the last couple of years, she has worked as a singer, singing in choirs and chamber ensembles, jazz and pop bands, as a singing and music teacher, worked as a radio programmer at The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, project manager and lead creative music workshops for children and adults. Later this year, her first album, Konan í speglinum, will be published. The album is a collaboration with Ingibjörg Ýr Skarphéðinsdóttir and consists of 15 new songs to poems by Ingibjörg Haraldsdóttir.
Atli James aka Jamesen or Jamesendir appeared on the Reykjavík dance music scene in 2019. When lockdown struck he initiated “htown club”, a streaming platform showcasing his friends and local talents, such as DJs, producers and graphic designers. Leaving the pandemic, he found himself at the forefront of Iceland’s new generation of DJs, playing local clubs and venues in Reykjavík as well as making his second appearance at the recent BUXUR organised by Berlin-based Bjarki and Árni.
Jón Arnar is a young Icelandic trombonist. He has a BA in music from The Norwegian Academy of Music and will finish his MA from the same school in the spring of 2023. Jón Arnar has been a soloist with ensembles such as the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, the Arctic Philharmonic, and Young Peoples Orchestra (IS). He also has experience on prestigious stages internationally as well as in more popular musical productions and theatre-based environments. Jón is also an outstanding chamber musician who in addition to his studies plays in various ensembles and projects, among others: the stage performance group Duo Nyjung, the folk music ensemble Varaþytur and the new music ensemble Nordic Trombone Quartet. Jón Arnar is also a composer/ arranger and is active in the new music life in Oslo and Iceland both as a musician and composer. He regularly premiers’ pieces in ensembles and as a soloist.
Jón Þorsteinn Reynisson is an Icelandic accordi- onist. He studied at The Royal Danish Academy of Music where he finished a master’s degree in 2018. He is now based in Iceland where he takes part in many different musical projects, from folk, tango, contemporary or classical music as well as teaching a large class of accordion students in Eyjafjörður. To mention a few projects during the last months, he played several concerts and recorded music of Ennio Morricone with Trio Mýr. Recorded music of Astor Piazzolla in arrangement for accordion, piano and double bass. Jón partici- pated in a project called “Sunnanvindur”, which is a concert program that was recorded and put together in a TV show, which premiered on RÚV in June 2022. In September 2022 Jón will, together with his partners in ítríó, play a debut concert at the Royal Danish Academy of Music to finish their Advanced post-graduate diploma.
Jónas Ásgeir Ásgeirsson is a classical accordionist based in Copenhagen where he is enrolled in the post-graduate programme of the Royal Danish Academy of Music. He was among the prize winners of the “Young Soloists“ competition hosted by the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and The Icelandic University of the Arts and as a result performed as a soloist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, making him the first Icelander to play an accordion concerto with the ISO. Jónas has since performed as a soloist with orchestras on several occasions.\ Jónas has premiered numerous works by composers from Iceland, Denmark and further afield. He is now finishing an album of Icelandic contemporary music for the classical accordion, with tonmeister Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir and Dacapo Records. The album will include a concerto by Finnur Karlsson played with Elja ensemble, the seminal solo work Radioflakes by Atli Ingólfsson as well as newly discovered works by pioneering composers Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson and Atli Heimir Sveinsson.\ As well as being a virtuosic soloist, Jónas is a member of several established ensembles such as KIMI (voice, accordion, percussion), EKKI MINNA (accordion, cello) and ítríó (accordion trio).
K!ART \[pronounced klart] is a post-instrumental ensemble and creative platform based in Copenhagen and directed by Mikkel Schou. The ensemble puts on DIY-flavored and intermedial music events characterized by experimental instrumental music, multimedia, performance art, and a holistic approach to curation taking into account staging and dramaturgy. A pluralistic approach without aesthetical discrimination to collaborations often results in adventurous and ambitious projects created by young and upcoming artists.\ Since 2019, K!ART has facilitated more than 35 world premieres and a number of evening-length projects. The platform also produces the yearly MINU festival, which from 2021 has aimed to present an expanded definition of art on the borders of new music and other media.\ The works presented at UNM 2022 are per- formed by: Rob Durnin \[keys], Ida Nørby \[cello], Mikkel Schou \[guitar], and Hsiao-Tung Yuan \[percussion].
There is nothing special about me. I am what I do. Considering I do not know who I am, what I do changes. I have played the classical/electric guitarist, the composer, the performance artist, etc. The common denominator has been the arts.\ At the beginning of that path, music felt like a call. It was intuitive and I had a relatively good ear for it. I took pride in being able to be good at something. As I aged, having a calling or being good became increasingly inadequate. I was less and less comfortable with the power dynamics of a typical performance. The idea that artists make art and the rest take it.\ I believe the greatest gift that art has afforded me is its healing potential. Having the ability to externalise thoughts, emotions and other pro- cesses of the mind in times of crisis is a benefit of being human, all too human! My interest lately has been in discovering ways in which people, who have not dedicated their lives to the arts, can get more comfortable with their inherent creativity and self-expression and enjoy the same gifts that I have been fortunate enough to get from early on
Sara Di Costanzo is an artist, musician and more-over flautist. She discovered the flute at the age of 7 and quickly dedicated herself to music. For 10 years she studied at the Conservatory of Cannes in France with Caroline Debonne and Florent Bontron. After passing the entrance audition of the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in the class of Baudoin Giaux, she obtained with honours her Bachelor’s diploma in Art and Music Performance. During her years of learning and development, Sara showed and still shows a strong desire for connection and exchange. She has performed regularly in Europe (France, Belgium, Italy, Russia, Germany, and other countries), as a soloist (per- forming the Suite in B by J.S. Bach), as a chamber and orchestral musician, and in numerous recitals. But it was during her Erasmus year at the Iceland University of the Arts in the “New Audience and Innovative Practices” program that she opened up to new musical perspectives that changed her artistic vision. Alongside Emilía Rós Sigfúsdóttir, John McCowen, Berglind María Tómasdóttir, and Sigurður Halldórsson, Sara thrives on discovering and developing her improvisational qualities, while collaborating and performing musical creations by talented young composers.
Soffía Jónsdóttir has finished her second year towards a B.A. degree in Cello Performance at the Iceland University of the Arts. During her studies, she has appeared with various orchestras: Ungsveit Sinfóníuhljómsveitar Íslands, Sinfóníuhljómsveit unga fólksins, Sinfóníuhljómsveit áhugamanna, and participated in many chamber music groups. In summer 2021 her chamber group performed the Dumky Trio by Dvorak both in Norræna húsið, Reykjavík, and Hamrar, Ísafjörður. In 2016 she went to Philadelphia in the United States and played in a string ensemble as part of a collaborative project. Soffía has also attended HIMA (Harpa International Music Festival) held in Reykjavík several times. She has also appeared in two cross-over recordings with aspiring pop singers. During her studies, she has attended several master classes i.e. by Alban Gerhardt, Marko Ylönen and Jonathan Swensen. Soffía has studied with Örnólfur Kristjánsson from a young age but is currently working with Sigurgeir Agnarsson at the Iceland University of Arts.
Sólveig Magnúsdóttir started playing the flute at the age of 9 in Skólahljómsveit Kópavogs. She has studied at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, Norwegian Academy of Music and The Royal Danish Academy of Music, where she finished her master’s degree with distinction in 2021. Her main teachers have been Martial Nardeau, Andrew Cunnigham, Ulla Miilmann and Anna Dina Bjørn- Larsen. She has played at numerous concerts and festivals in Iceland, Denmark and Norway and is currently a regular substitute with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, as well as working as a flute teacher in Reykjavík and Mosfellsbær.
Sölvi Kolbeinsson (1996) is an Icelandic saxo- phonist living in Copenhagen. After studying classical and jazz saxophone in Iceland Sölvi moved to Berlin where he did his bachelor’s at Jazz-Institut Berlin from 2015-2019. He moved to Copenhagen in 2021 where he now lives and works. Sölvi is active in the European jazz and classical scenes, performing and recording with many different groups, including hamamelidae, Sölvi Kolbeinsson & Magnús Trygvason Elíassen, Windisch quartet, Legion live in us and Guiding star orchestra. Sölvi has performed at jazz festivals in all the Nordic countries as well as performing in Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Netherlands and Scotland. Sölvi was chosen as the most promising jazz musician at the Iceland music awards in 2016.
The UNM String Ensemble is made up of some of Iceland’s most prominent musicians. The ensemble was founded on the occasion of the 2022 edition of the UNM festival in Reykjavík and takes great pride in performing new music with precision and elegance. The musicians have studied in Iceland as well as having finished further studies in various European countries and the United States. For this year’s UNM festival they join forces in a performance that will not be forgotten.\ The UNM String Ensemble’s conductor is Hjörtur Páll Eggertsson.
Toby Kruit is a sound artist and pianist based in The Hague, NL. Having studied Sonology and instrument design at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, he has recently shifted his focus to online radio production and delocalised community broadcasting.
Test performer
My name is Yrja Szabó and I play the trumpet. I first started my trumpet studies in 2009 at the music school in Mariestad, Sweden when I was 7 years old. I studied there for 6 years and then went to Tónskóli Sigursveins in Reykjavík in 2015 and have been studying classical music there since. I also study piano at Tónskóli Sigursveins and have just taken the advanced level exam on trumpet and the basic level exam on piano. I have been involved in various music projects, for example, marching bands, symphony orchestras and brass bands such as Mariestads musical band, Symphony Orchestra of the Youth and ISO Youth Orchestra.

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