Halldór Smárason was born in Iceland in 1989. He completed an Advanced Level Piano Examination in the spring of 2009 concurrently with his college graduation, and holds a B.A.-degree in composition from the Iceland Academy of the Arts and an M.M.-degree in classical composition from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied as a Fulbright-grantee. In the spring of 2015 he received an internship grant to work with Beat Furrer in Vienna and Graz. Through the years his main teachers include composers Dr. Reiko Füting, Atli Ingólfsson and Tryggvi M. Baldvinsson, and pianist Sigríður Ragnarsdóttir.
Halldór has worked with many renowned artists, including Psappha, TAK, Caput, Oslo Sinfonietta, MSM Symphony, Daniel Lippel, Reykjavík's Trio, Duo Harpverk, Elektra Ensemble, The Iceland Youth Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble NeoN, Marco Fusi and Ensemble ACJW. Halldór has participated at the Ung Nordisk Musik 2013, 2014 and 2015, Nordic Cool in 2013, Sonic Festival 3.0 in 2014 and was a composer-in-residence at Við Djúpið 2011 and Podium Festival 2014.
During his first year in the United States, his piece Stara was selected as the winning submission of the Manhattan Prize. In 2014, Halldór's master's thesis was premiered by the Manhattan School of Music Symphony, conducted by David Gilbert.
In New York, Halldór participated in many master classes, took on various arrangement projects and worked frequently with Daniel Lippel, guitarist and a member of the ICE-Ensemble.
Through the years Halldór has performed on numerous occasions as a soloist or as part of various groups. In addition to performances, Halldór has appeared on several recordings of musical CD’s.