Einar Torfi Einarsson (1980) was born in Iceland and studied initially composition at Reykjavik College of Music. He received his PhD in composition from the University of Huddersfield where he studied with Aaron Cassidy on the Jonathan Harvey Scholarship. Previous composition studies were with Fabio Nieder at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where he also studied with Richard Ayres and Willem Jeths, graduating with a MMus degree in 2009. Einarsson did further studies with Beat Furrer at the Kunstuniversität in Graz. In 2008, Einarsson was a composer in residence at the Ligeti Academy in Amsterdam organized by Asko/Schönberg Ensemble. He has attended masterclasses and private lessons from a.o. Salvatore Sciarrino, Brian Ferneyhough, Emmanuel Nunes and Jonathan Harvey.

His music has been performed by ensembles such as Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Intercontemporain, ELISION Ensemble, Nieuw Ensemble, Asko Ensemble, Caput Ensemble, Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Holland Symfonia. His music was featured on the International Rostrum of Composers and has been performed and broadcasted in Scandinavia, Netherlands, France, Austria, UK and Germany.

Einarsson was recently awarded an Artist Stipend (2012) from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (Iceland) and has previously received grants from Musica Nova foundation Iceland, Composers Fund 365 and Reykjavik City. During the Dutch Music Days festival 2008 his piece Nine Tensions was awarded the Henriëtte Bosmans Prize. Also a finalist for the Buma Toonzetters Prize 2009, winner in the category: "best ensemble piece". His orchestra piece Apertures was selected for the Young Composers Project 2009 organized by Holland Symfonia and premiered during the Gaudeamus Music Week 2009. A winner in the impuls Composition Competition 2009, which awarded him a commission to write a piece for Klangforum Wien (premiere on impuls 2011). In 2010 Einarsson was commissioned by the Ensemble Intercontemporain / IRCAM Reading Panel (Tremplin Commission programme) to write a piece for Ensemble Intercontemporain.

His music has been performed on festivals such as: Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Transit Festival, impuls festival, Dutch Music Days, Nordlichter (Berlin), Gaudeamus Music Week, Time of Music, Dark Music Days, Ung Nordisk Musik and Nordic Music Days.

He has worked as a part-time lecturer in Composition at the University of Huddersfield.

His recent music focuses experimentally on performance physicality, notation and nonlinear and non-teleological structures (see research).


1980 - Born in Neskaupstaður, Iceland

2001-2005 – Studied classical guitar with Snorri Örn Snorrason at Reykjavik College of Music

2002-2005 - Composition and theory with Hróðmar Ingi Sigurbjörnsson and Guðmundur Hafsteinsson at Reykjavik College of Music. Also computer music with Kjartan Ólafsson

2005-2007 - Composition with Fabio Nieder at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam  

2006-7 - Orientations project with the Nieuw Ensemble, Amsterdam

2007-2009 - Master-programme at the CvA with Richard Ayres, Willem Jeths and Fabio Nieder

2007 - Grant from Icelandic Fund for New Music, Musica Nova

2008 - Ligeti Academy of Asko/Schoenberg Ensemble, Amsterdam

2008 - Awarded the Henriëtte Bosmansprijs 2008 for Nine Tensions

2008-9 - Composition with Beat Furrer at KunstUniversität Graz

2009 - Grant from Reykjavik City

2009 - Grant from Composers Fund 365 (tónskáldasjóður 365)

2009 - Nominated for the Buma Toonzetters Prize 2009

2009 - 1 of 5 Impuls-Composition-Competition 2009 winners

2009-12  PhD in Composition, at the CeReNeM with Aaron Cassidy

2009-12 Awarded the Jonathan Harvey Scholarship

2010  -  IRCAM / Ensemble Intercontemporain Tremplin Commission

2010-11  -  Part-time Lecturer in Composition at the University of Huddersfield

2012  -  Artist Stipend from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (Iceland)

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