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Bára Gísladóttir receives the Ernst von Siemens Composer Prize

Photo: Rui Camilo

Bára Gísladóttir receives the Ernst von Siemens Composer Prize

The Danish-based Icelandic composer and double bassist Bára Gísladóttir receives the prestigious, international Composer Prize 2024 from the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung. In May 2024, a new orchestral album by Gísladóttir will be released.

25 January 2024

In recent years Gísladóttir has attracted a lot of attention from audiences, ensembles and orchestra leaders both in Denmark and internationally with her dark, uncompromising Nordic universe. Gísladottir writes music based on a fundamental notion of sound as a living being. As author and music critic, Tim Rutherford-Jonson writes in an essay for the Ernst von Siemens Stiftung: "To listen to Gísladóttir’s music is to be similarly folded into a twisting organism, watching from the inside as it spreads, consumes, dances and reproduces."

Unique and haunting debut

Bára Gísladóttir made her debut from the Royal Danish Academy of Music in 2020 with the performance of the work VÍDDIR, an hour-long work for nine flutes, percussion trio, double bass and electric bass. The work truly marked Gísladóttir's entry onto the international music scene and has subsequently been nominated for the Nordic Council's Music Prize, performed several times around the world and released on an album which, among other things, was highlighted among 'Notable Recordings of the Year' in The New Yorker and described as "It’s hands down one of the most unique, special, haunting and above all stunning pieces of music I’ve heard all year" by music critic Simon Cummings. VÍDDIR is available on CD and streaming. Listen here while you read.

New commissions and work premieres

Since her debut in 2020, Bára Gísladóttir has received a large number of commissions, and among the premieres of the past year, you will find, among other things, the choral work NAT written for the Danish National Vocal Ensemble, the moon is an eye is a pond and so on and so forth premiered by the Riot Ensemble at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the orchestral work COR written for the WDR Symphony Orchestra and the dance performance EVER RÊVE. 2023 also featured nominations for The Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, Carl Prisen and Icelandic Music Awards. In 2024, Bára Gísladóttir will, among other things, have works premiered in connection with the awarding of the Leonie Sonnings Music Prize, where Gísladóttir has written music for the prize winner, and she will have a work premiered by the French ensemble intercontemporain.

New orchestral album coming up

In May 2024 a new orchestral album by Bára Gísladóttir will be released. Dacapo Records is looking very much forward to presenting three orchestral works by Gísladóttir, that is COR, Hringla and VAPE, recorded by the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, conductor Eva Ollikainen and Gísladóttir herself.

  • Bára Gísladóttir


  • Bára Gísladóttir