ÁRNI HEIMIR INGÓLFSSON is Iceland’s leading musicologist and a renowned pianist, choral conductor, and music educator. Born in Reykjavík, he majored in piano performance and music history at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and received his PhD in musicology from Harvard University. He is currently 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 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 Gramophone. 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.