Thorsteinn Hauksson, composer

Broadcast of a recent Portrait Concert of Hauksson's Music, Nordic House, Reykjavik. Also, a new string quartet received its World Premiere. Performance by the Caput Ensemble.

Click this link to hear the broadcast from the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.

The program:
- Chantouria. Computer work.
- cho. For flute and computer sound.
- Bells of Earth I. For carillon, percussion and computer sound.
- Spegill undir fjögur augu. For Soprano solo.
- Psychomachia. For soprano and cello.
- String Quartet One. Premiere


Broadcast of Psychomachia Oratorio

On April 4th the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service played the premiere of the Psychomachia Oratorio from 1995. Click this link to hear the entire broadcast.


Radio program on three Orchestral Works of Hauksson

Click this link to The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service recent (Feb. 26, 2012) one hour show on Hauksson’s music. Three orchestral works, Symphony One, Bells of Earth and Ad Astra - as well as cho for flute and computer sound are played.

Thorsteinn Hauksson, Composer

Thorsteinn Hauksson

Psychomachia (Battle for Man's soul) for chamber orchestra and soloists.

Psychomachia is Psychomachia old Spanish columnbased on a poem by the late antique Latin poet Prudentius (A.D. 348 - c. 410). The poem describes the conflict of vices and virtues, a great epic battle of good versus evil. The work exists as an Oratorio and a shorter version for soprano and cello, available from Edition Reimers, Stockholm - and on CD from Amazon. The sound excerpt is from the premier at the ancient episcopal see, the Skalholt Cathedral in Iceland.

cho for flute and computer sound.

The inspiration comes from the well-known Greek myth about the hopeless love of the mountain nymph Echo for Narcissus, Echo and Narcissus, painting by Waterhousewhose sole interest was in his own image. This causes Echo (who is under the spell of only being able to repeat the last words of another) to fade away in sorrow to a voice only, turning into a stone.

cho was nominated to the Nordic Council Music Prize 1993.

Bells of Earth for Orchestra and Computer Sound.

Bells of Earth is a part of a cycle of works for various instrumental combinations and also outdoor multimedia versions. This version which is the second in the series is quite different although the computer sound is the same and the message conveyed is similar. It was written for DIEM (the Danish Institute of Electroacoustic Music) and ICMC 94 festival (the International Computer Music Conference 1994 which was hosted by Denmark that year).

The sound material for the computer processing is mostly the Bells of the Earth, Carillonbased on the huge 47-bell carillon at the Musical Arts Center Plaza at the Kunitachi College of Music. It is the largest carillon in Japan and is enclosed in a beautiful sculpture called The Bells of the Earth. The other sounds are from instruments and voices, from Noh plays and fragments of Japanese taken from the conversation of excited Japanese music students, just before performing at a concert.

Bells of Earth was nominated to the Nordic Council Music Prize 1995.

Ad Astra for Orchestra.

Positions and ratios of heavenly bodies play an important role in Ad Astra.

This piece was written at CCRMA, Stanford University, where Stellar Grouping in Cygnus XHauksson wrote a computer program for the purpose of devising a modern version of the "harmony of the spheres" of the Middle Ages. This was then utilized in the composition of Ad Astra.

The work was written at the request of the Reykjavík Arts Festival 1982 and was given its first performance then.

Ad Astra was nominated to the Nordic Council Music Prize 1988.

Are We? for two trumpets, two trombones, two percussion and computer sound.

The computer sounds were realized at IRCAM, Paris. Commissioned for IRCAM by Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, premiered by Ensemble Intercontemprain in the year 1981.

This work is based on research that Hauksson did on the connection of overtone spectra and harmony, where attempt was made to construct cohesive inharmonic series out of stretched and compressed partial relationship.

Toccata for guitar.

Toccata was composed in the year 1987 for the guitarist Josef Fung. It was part of the Nordic Ensemble concert tour in China the same year. As the name implies, I used the perpetuum mobile concept to some extent, a favorite compositional device amongst toccata writers. This work requires extreme agility and difficult hand stretches on the part of the player and it surely is a sign of great competence and technical mastery when this work is included in the repertoire of the guitarist.

Symphony One for Orchestra

Symphony One was premiered by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra 2005. The excerpts played here are from a studio recording by the same orchestra, conducted by Petri Sakari.

Glætur for Chamber Ensemble.

The title of the piece, Gleams or Glæta, better yet (and grammatically incorrect), Glætur in Icelandic, is an imaginary little pitch dark journey, where beacons of light flash intermittently - and we keep wondering about its source and reason. Bit20 CD CoverPerhaps a message or a signature that most of us want to leave for other wonderers.

Commissioned by Michio Nakajima, Mirkk Art Forum. First performance by Art Respirant at the ISCM 2001 festival in Yokohama, Japan. A CD published by the Mirkk Art Forum in Japan has just been released with a performance by the Norwegian BIT 20 Ensemble.