Bára Gísladóttir (b. 1989)

The works of Bára Gísladóttir are characterised by a deep and self-reflective calm, at times producing an almost meditative state in the music. In her pieces, time is as likely to move in circles as it is moving forwards towards a distinct goal.

Whether writing for acoustic instruments or electronics, Gísladóttir is especially concerned with the rich details of sounds. Thus, overtones, liminal registers and multiphonics play an essential part in her works, creating an atmosphere of slowly progressing mystery.

A trained double bassist herself, Gísladóttir has performed many of her own works onstage. Thanks to its long strings the double bass produces a wide spectrum of overtones, making it a natural focus in several of Gísladóttir’s compositions.

Bára Gísladóttir studied at the Iceland University of the Arts, Conservatorio di musica “Giuseppe Verdi” di Milano and the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Her teachers include Hróðmar I. Sigurbjörnsson, Þuríður Jónsdóttir, Gabriele Manca, Niels Rosing-Schow and Jeppe Just Christensen.

She is a member of the Icelandic ensembles Elja and SKARK.

Her works have been performed by, among others, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Ensemble InterContemporain and Ensemble Adapter at festivals such as Dark Music Days, Darmstädter Ferienkurse, KLANG Festival, International Rostrum of Composers and Nordic Music Days.

Bára Gísladóttir received the Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Foundation Talent Award 2019, the Léonie Sonning Talent Prize 2018, and the Grapevine Music Award 2017 for her work as a composer.