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Biography

  • Born

    21 September 1938 (age 80)

  • Born In

    Reykjavík, Höfuðborgarsvæðið, Iceland

Atli Heimir Sveinsson (21 September 1938 - 20 April 2019) was an Icelandic composer.

Sveinsson was born in Reykjavík, Iceland and started piano lessons at the age of 10. He studied piano with Rögnvaldur Sigurjonsson at the Reykjavík College of Music and took his diploma in 1957. He went on to study at the State Academy in Cologne, Germany, from 1959, studying composition with Günter Raphael and Rudolf Petzold, instrumentation with Bernd Alois Zimmermann, conducting with Wolfgang von der Nahmer and piano with Hermann Pillney and Hans Otto Schmidt. He also took private lessons with Gottfried Michael Koenig. He took his diploma in composition and theory in 1963, a year in which he also attended summer courses in Darmstadt, making acquaintance with Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez, György Ligeti and Bruno Maderna. In 1964 he studied with Karlheinz Stockhausen, Henri Pousseur, Christof Caskel and Frederick Rzewsky. In 1965 he went to the Netherlands and studied electronic music with Gottfried Michael Koenig in Bilthoven.

He was president of the Icelandic Composers Association from 1972 to 1983. In 1976 he received the Nordic Council Music Prize for his Flute Concerto. Since 1992 Atli Heimir Sveinsson has received an honorary salary from the Icelandic Parliament. Sveinsson was elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 1993. His recent Symphony Number Two premiered in Reykjavik on June 1, 2006.

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