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Borgar Magnason

Borgar Magnason

Composer and bass player Borgar Magnason prolific career has earned him a place as one of one of Iceland's leading musical figures. With a wide scope of musical interests his work has spanned everything from solo performances of cutting edge contemporary music to multimedia collaborations as well as writing orchestral arrangements for a.o. Andrea Bocelli and adding his signature bass drones to the music of Sigurrós.

Initially trained in classical double bass Magnason started his career performing with various orchestras and ensembles on both sides of the Atlantic in addition to holding a position as teaching assistant in contemporary performance at both the Julliard School and Mannes College.

His love for the sonic capabilities of the double bass gradually led him towards experimentation and composition, which opened up to collaborations within the realm of contemporary dance and visual arts. His soft spot for the latter medium led to work with a.o. film maker Guy Maddin, Dutch video artists 33 1/3, Húbert Nói, the Italian art duo Masbedo and Gabríela Friðriksdóttir.

He has in his capacity as performer collaborated, played and recorded with other artists such as Howie B, Damien Rice, Nico Muhly, Brian Eno, Elisa Toffoli, Björk, Ane Brun, Valgeir Sigurdsson, Ben Frost, Sigurrós, Puzzle Muteson and Daníel Bjarnason. In 2012 he formed Reykjavík Sinfonia an ensemble of Icelandic musicians that had collaborated for years on a wide variety of projects. With the ensemble he has recorded numerous sound tracks for film and television as well as numerous albums. Their first release with music of Daníel Bjarnason won the Icelandic Music Prize as Album of the Year. With Reykjavík Sinfonia, Magnason served as music director on The Wasp Factory, an opera by Ben Frost that had it´s world-premiere at Bregenz Festival in 2013 and subsequent performances at various opera houses among them extended run at the Royal Opera House, London.

As a composer Magnason has written music for plays, dance performances, films and television, pieces for chamber ensembles of various combinations as well as the award winning music-theater piece ‘Blink Of An Eye’.

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