The works of Bára Gísladóttir are characterised by a deep and self-reflective calm, at times producing an almost meditative state in the music. In her pieces, time is as likely to move in circles as it is moving forwards towards a distinct goal.
Bára Gísladóttir is an Icelandic composer and double bassist based in Copenhagen. Her work is generally based on thoughts regarding the approach and concept of sound as a living being.
She studied composition at the Iceland Academy of the Arts in Reykjavík with Hróðmar I. Sigurbjörnsson and Þuríður Jónsdóttir, Conservatorio di Musica "Giuseppe Verdi" in Milan with Gabriele Manca and at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen with Niels Rosing-Schow and Jeppe Just Christensen. Her music has been performed by ensembles and orchestras such as Athelas Sinfonietta, Copenhagen Phil, The Danish National Symphony Orchestra, The Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Distractfold, Duo Harpverk, Elektra Ensemble, Elja Ensemble, Ensemble Adapter, Ensemble InterContemporain, Ensemble New Babylon, Ensemble recherche, Esbjerg Ensemble, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, loadbang, Marco Fusi, Mimitabu, NJYD, Nordic Affect, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Riot Ensemble, Siggi String Quartet, Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, Staatsorchester Hannover, TAÏGA String Quartet, TAK Ensemble and WDR Sinfonieorchester. Gísladóttir´s pieces have been selected for festivals such as CPH Jazz Festival, Dark Music Days, Darmstädter Ferienkurse, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, International Rostrum of Composers, KLANG Festival, MaerzMusik, Nordic Music Days, SPOR Festival, TRANSIT Festival, Warsaw Autumn, and Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik. She has received the Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Foundation’s Talent Awards, Gladsaxe Music Prize, Léonie Sonning Talent Prize, The Reykjavík Grapevine's Music Awards. She has been nominated for the Carl Prize (Music to accompany your sweet splatter dreams 2020, Animals of your pasture 2022, Hringla 2023), the Kraumur Music Awards (B R I M S L Ó Ð 2016, Mass for some 2017, HĪBER 2020, Caeli 2021), Nordic Council Music Prize (VÍDDIR 2022), the Nordic Music Prize (Caeli 2021), the Icelandic Music Awards ('Piece of the year': Split Thee, Soul, to Splendid Bits 2019, Music to accompany your sweet splatter dreams 2020, VÍDDIR 2021, 'Album of the year': VÍDDIR 2023) and the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards (Animals of your pasture 2023). In 2021, she was one of three artists to receive a working grant of three years from the Danish Arts Foundation.
Gísladóttir has released several albums, most recently SILVA via Sono Luminus/ESP-disk. She is an active performer and regularly plays her own music, solo or with her longtime collaborator Skúli Sverrisson. In addition to this, she is the double bassist of Elja Ensemble. Occasionally, she performs as a soloist with ensembles and orchestras, most recently in her own double bass concerto, Hringla, with Copenhagen Phil and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. In the recent years, Gísladóttir has been moving towards inter disciplinary productions, collaborating for the most part with Ben J. Riepe.
Her works are published by Edition·S.