ÁRNI HEIMIR INGÓLFSSON is Iceland’s leading musicologist and a renowned pianist, choral conductor, and music educator. Born in Reykjavík in 1973, he studied at the Reykjavík School of Music as a teenager, then attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (Ohio), where he received a double BM-degree in piano performance and music history in 1997. He then attended Harvard University’s renowned graduate program in musicology, completing his PhD in 2003. He has since made his home in Iceland, where he has held the position of Associate/Visiting Professor of Musicology at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, as well as being Artistic Advisor for the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
Ingólfsson has devoted much of his career to researching Icelandic music history. He has published widely in Icelandic and English, including an article published by Harvard University Press in the 2013 volume City, Chant, and the Topography of Early Music. His biography of the Icelandic composer Jón Leifs, published in 2009, was nominated for the Icelandic Book Award and an English version will be published in 2018 by Indiana University Press. His most recent book, published in 2016, is the first comprehensive history of classical music to be written in the Icelandic language. Ingólfsson has given lectures at conferences in Europe and the United States, been Visiting Erasmus Lecturer at the Vienna Conservatory of Music, and has held visiting fellowships in musicology at Oxford University, Boston University, and Harvard.
As a musician, Ingólfsson is primarily active as a collaborative pianist and choral conductor. He is the founder and artistic director of the Carmina Chamber Choir, which has appeared in various concerts in Iceland, England, Germany, France, and Sweden, as well as at the Reykjavik Arts Festival. On the Icelandic label Smekkleysa, he has produced three CDs with music from medieval Icelandic manuscripts, two of which won the Icelandic Music Awards for Best Classical CD of the Year. One of these CDs, Melodia, was also Editor’s Choice in the renowned Gramophone Magazine in 2009. Ingólfsson has worked with a wide range of prominent musicians including composer Nico Muhly and singer-composer Björk, arranging several tracks for her 2011 Grammy-nominated album Biophilia.