Daníel Bjarnason

Conductor and composer Daníel Bjarnason was Artist-in-Residence at the Iceland Symphony Orchestra from 2015 to 2018 and is currently Composer-in-Residence at the Muziekgebouw Frits Philips Eindhoven.

A co-curator of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Reykjavik Festival, Daniel was featured as both a conductor and composer in Los Angeles in April 2017.

Recent and upcoming commissions include works for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Rambert Dance Company, Britten Sinfonia, Jennifer Koh, So Percussion, Calefax, and the Calder Quartet. Daníel wrote his first opera for the Danish National Opera in Aarhus. The opera was premiered in August 2017 as part of the Aarhus – Culture Capital of Europe celebrations. Based on the Susanne Bier film Brothers, the opera was directed by Kasper Holten, and Steffen Aarfing created the stage design. The librettist is Kerstin Perski.

Daníel Bjarnason's music has been described as “coming eerily close to defining classical music's undefinable brave new world” (Time Out New York), under conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, John Adams, James Conlon, André de Ridder, Louis Langree, and Ilan Volkov in venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall, Lincoln Center, Harpa, and the Barbican. Daníel's versatility has also led to collaborations with a broad range of musicians outside the classical field, including Sigur Rós, Brian Eno, Efterklang, and Ben Frost. Conducting engagements include appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Ulster Orchestra, Sinfonietta Cracovia, and the Icelandic Opera. Bjarnason's work has been recognised numerous times at the Icelandic Music Awards. In 2016 he received the award for Best Performer with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Icelandic Opera, for their performance of Peter Grimes. Previously he won Best Composer/Best Composition in 2010 for Processions and Composer of the Year in 2013 for his works The Isle is Full of Noises and Over Light Earth. Also in 2013, he and Ben Frost won the Edda Award for best soundtrack for their score to film The Deep, directed by Baltasar Kormákur. His first opera, Brothers, received outstanding reviews after its premiere at the Den Jyske Opera in autumn of 2017 and won Best Composition at the Icelandic Music Awards the following year.

After studying piano, composition, and conducting in Reykjavík, Daníel Bjarnason pursued further studies in orchestral conducting at the University of Music Freiburg. Daniel is a member of Bedroom Community, the Icelandic record label and close-knit collective comprising nine like-minded yet diverse musicians from different corners of the globe.