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Kjartan Ólafsson
Artistic Director of Erkitíð

+354 898 40 11


1986 - 1995

Degree NameMusLic (PhD) Field Of StudyMusic Composition and Theory

Sibelius Academy

Sibelius Academy

1986 - 1991

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

1984- 1986

Utrecht Conservatory Institude for Sonology

Field Of StudyElectronic and computer music studies

Sibelius Academy


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 international festivals 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 of his 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 since 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-

Dark Music Days

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.


CEO of ErkiTónlist since 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. 

Icelandic University of the Arts

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

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