Hafdís Bjarnadóttir was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 17 August 1977. She started playing electric guitar at the age of 12 with the focus on rock and folk music, playing with bands and writing her own music. She graduated in jazz guitar performance from the FÍH School of Music, Iceland, in 2002. Hafdís finished her bachelor’s degree in contemporary composition from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2007, followed by a master’s degree from the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen in 2009.
Hafdís has devoted her musical life in breaking down barriers between different genres of music. Her past projects include a sound installation for the Nordic Lighthouse at the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010, an orchestra piece made with knitting instructions, two solo albums with a mixture of different genres and instruments, an ensemble piece composed out of graphs and charts from the Icelandic banks during the bank crash in 2008, various commissioned pieces for solo instruments or chamber ensembles in Iceland and overseas, a piece for a mixed choir and electric guitar, and many more. Hafdís' second solo album, JÆJA, received critical acclaim and was nominated for the Iceland Music Awards. Hafdís' piece for accordion and halldorophone, A Day in February, was nominated by the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service for the International Rostrum of Composers in Vienna in 2011. Hafdís lives and works, both as a guitarist and a composer, in Reykjavík, Iceland.