Atli Heimir Sveinsson is one of the most prominent Icelandic postwar composers with a varied list of works to his credit, including operas, ballet and major orchestral works, widely performed.
Mr. Sveinsson studied piano with Rögnvaldur Sigurjónsson at the Reykjavík College of Music, and composition, conducting and piano at the State Academy in Cologne, with teachers including Gunter Raphael, Rodolf Petzold and Bernd Alois Zimmermann. He studied with Karlheinz Stockhausen, and in the Netherlands he studied electronic music with Gottfried Michael Koenig.
Atli Heimir Sveinsson’s catalogue includes nine solo concertos, numerous orchestral, chamber and solo works, an orchestral song cycle to Steinn Steinarr’s poem Time and Water; and the operas The Silk Drum, Vikivaki, Moonlight Island, and Hertervig, an opera written to a libretto by the Norwegian poet Paal-Helge Haugen. A new opera is to be premiered in December 2000. In addition he has composed religious songs and psalms, and music for the theatre, of which many songs have gained enormous popularity, enjoyed by young and old.
Atli Heimir Sveinsson was president of the Society of Icelandic Composers in 1972-1983. In 1976 he received the Nordic Council Music Prize for his Concerto for Flute and Orchestra.