Gísladóttir, Bára International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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is an Icelandic composer and double bassist based in Copenhagen. Her work is generally based on thoughts regarding the approach and concept of sound as a living being.

She studied composition at the Iceland Academy of the Arts in Reykjavík with Hróðmar I. Sigurbjörnsson and Þuríður Jónsdóttir, Giuseppe Verdi Conservatoire in Milan with Gabriele Manca, and Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen with Niels Rosing-Schow and Jeppe Just Christensen. Her music has been performed by ensembles and orchestras such as Athelas Sinfonietta, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony, Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Distractfold, Duo Harpverk, Elektra Ensemble, Elja Ensemble, Ensemble Adapter, Ensemble InterContemporain, Ensemble New Babylon, Ensemble recherche, Esbjerg Ensemble, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Helsingborg Symphony, Iceland Symphony, loadbang, Marco Fusi, Mimitabu, NJYD, Nordic Affect, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Riot Ensemble, Siggi String Quartet, Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, Staatsorchester Hannover, TAÏGA String Quartet, TAK Ensemble and WDR Sinfonieorchester, notably during m Dark Music Days, Darmstadt Summer Courses, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, International Rostrum of Composers, KLANG Festival, MaerzMusik, Nordic Music Days, SPOR Festival, TRANSIT Festival, Warsaw Autumn, and Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik. 

She has received the Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Foundation’s Talent Awards, Gladsaxe Music Prize, Léonie Sonning Talent Prize, and The Reykjavík Grapevine’s Music Awards. She has been nominated for the Carl Prize (Music to accompany your sweet splatter dreams 2020, Animals of your pasture 2022, Hringla 2023), Kraumur Music Awards (B R I M S L Ó Ð 2016, Mass for some 2017, HĪBER 2020, Caeli 2021), Nordic Council Music Prize (VÍDDIR 2022), Nordic Music Prize (Caeli 2021), Icelandic Music Awards (Piece of the Year for Split Thee, Soul, to Splendid Bits 2019, Music to accompany your sweet splatter dreams 2020, VÍDDIR 2021; Album of the Year for VÍDDIR 2023) and the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards (Animals of your pasture 2023). In 2021, she was one of three artists to receive a working grant of three years from the Danish Arts Foundation. 

Gísladóttir has released several albums, most recently SILVA on Sono Luminus/ESP-disk. She is an active performer and regularly plays her own music, solo or with her longtime collaborator Skúli Sverrisson. In addition to this, she is the double bassist of Elja Ensemble. Occasionally, she performs as a soloist with ensembles and orchestras, most recently in her own double bass concerto, Hringla, with the Copenhagen Philharmonic and Iceland Symphony. In the recent years, Gísladóttir has been moving towards inter disciplinary productions, collaborating for the most part with Ben J. Riepe. 

Selected works (from 2013): Afi minn frá Ísafirði for flute, clarinet, trumpet, bassoon and accordion (2013), Haukur í horni for chamber ensemble (2013), Sancta Caecilia for children’s choir (2014), Beðið for keyboard Yamaha CP-70M, e-bow and a brave performer with good voice (2014), Rooftops of Barcelona for tenor saxophone, any number of amplified double basses and electronics (2014), HAF:köf(n)un for flute, tenor, saxophone, guitar and tam-tam (2015), Paradoxical Vision for tenor saxophone (2015), NEIND for violin, double bass, e-bow, Yamaha CP-70M electric piano and some other inconvenient stuff but only two performers (2015), tif for piano, clarinet, violin and cello (2015), Rooftops of Berlin for double bass, elastic threads and four helpers (2015), I nostri dei sono morti I–IV for various chamber ensembles (2015), Rooftops of Milan for double bass and electronics (2015), MiMaMü for two flutes and double bass (2015), Method of loci for mezzo-soprano and piano (2016), BRIMSLÓРfor double bass and electronics (2016), BRIMSLÓÐ: Variations for double bass and electronics (2016), Turn a Blind Eye for orchestra (2016), BRIMSLÓÐ: Variations II for double bass and electronics (2016), VAPE for orchestra (2016–17), Mass for Some for double bass, voice and electronics (2017), Flashes from the various east for baritone, bass clarinet, trumpet and trombone (2017), Devotchka watch her garbles for chamber ensemble z electronics (2017), Respirare l’ombra for harp and five-string double bass (2017), otoconia for string quartet and electronics (2017), Solomon Grundy for mixed choir (2017), Átta lög við ljóð eftir Kött Grá Pje (og nokkur hlægilega stutt millispil) for mezzo-soprano, baritone and string quartet (2018), ORF (en engar axir né önnur pyntingatæki) for viola d’amore (2018), ORF (en líka axir og önnur pyntingatæki) for viola d’amore and electronics (2018), VĒXŌ for double bass and electronics (2018), SUĪ for double bass and electronics (2018), no afterlife thanks for double bass and electronics (2018), ÓS for orchestra (2018), Split thee, Soul, to Splendid Bits (attn.: no eternal life/light this time around) for violin, viola, cello and harpsichord (2018), A lil Requiem before Super Bowl for soprano, guitar and cello (2018), Yung Leo for saxophone, string quartet, three percussionists and electronics (2018), Seven heavens (of different heights and depths) for oboe, percussion, harpsichord and double bass (2018), Music to accompany your sweet splatter dreams for flute/piccolo, oboe, clarinet in B flat, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, two percussionists, piano and string quintet (2019), the worlds within our petty voids for flute, oboe, violin, viola and cello (2019), Lof oss að brenna (bæði þessa heims og annars) for string quartet and electronics (2019), exaudi, opera for soprano, tenor, flute, clarinet/bass clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and piano (2020), VÍDDIR for nine flutes, three percussionists, bass guitar and double bass (2020), Animals of your pasture for flute bass, oboe, bass clarinet in B flat, tenor saxophone, percussion, electric guitar, harpsichord, double bass and electronics (2021), COR for orchestra (2021), BEGINN for 12 performers and live electronics (2022), Hringla for double bass and orchestra (2022), SILVA for double bass and live electronics (2022), Ms. Ephemeris Abyss for seven alto flutes (2022–23), EVER|RÊVE for nine performers and electronics (2023).