Kjartan Ólafsson

Chief Executive Officer at ErkiTónlist 1985 -


ErkiTónlist was founded in 1985 to promote creative endeavours in music, especially those that for one reason or other did not obtain commercial support. 

Professor of composition and theory at the Iceland University of the Arts 2005-2014




He has composed music for chamber orchestra, solo instruments, voice,

and electronics;
computer music, large scale orchestra works and concertos, music for theatre

and  music for children. His music has been performed in concerts in over 30

countries, e.g.,  in internationalfestivals such as ISCM, ICMC, Nordic Music Days, Dark

Music Days  and ErkiTid.  His Viola Concerto received the Icelandic Music Award in 2002 as Composition

of the Year. Many ofhis compositions have been released on CDs’.


Kjartan is currently directing the largest international research project in music in Iceland,
CALMUS. His investigative work into composition is based on the use of Artificial Intelligence for
musical composition.

Erkitíð Music Festival - Artistic director 1994 –

The ErkiTíð Music Festival was founded in 1994 on the 50th anniversary of the Icelandic
Republic. From the beginning, the purpose of the festival has been to link music, art,
technology and science together with creating a point where past and future meet by art
creation. The festival program includes various type of music where music and new
technology integrates - such as with music creation using Artificial Intelligence for real-time
composition, music in virtual reality and the integration of music and light (visuals) in real-
time .


DarkMusicDays - Artistic director 1998 –2016

Dark Music Days is an annual festival of contemporary and new music which takes place during
the darkest period of the Icelandic winter at the concert hall Harpa in downtown Reykjavík. The
festival was founded in 1980 by the Iceland Composers' Society as a platform for Icelandic
composers to present their work.


Sibelius Academy
Degree NameMusLic (PhD) Field Of StudyMusic Composition and Theory
Dates attended and graduation 1986 – 1995

Sibelius Academy
Sibelius Academy
Degree NameCandidate of Music (Cand.Mus) Field Of StudyMusic Composition

Dates attended and graduation 1986 – 1991

Utrecht Conservatory & Institude for Sonology
Utrecht Conservatory & Institude for Sonology
Field Of StudyElectronic and computer music studies
Dates attended and graduation 1984 – 1986