Magnús Blöndal Jóhannsson played a key role in promoting new musical movements in Iceland around the middle of the century. He studied composition at the Juilliard School in New York from 1947-1952, where his theachers included B. Wagenaar and M. Bauer he also came into certain amount of contact with Edgar Varesé.
During the 1950´s he visited the electronic studios of Cologne, Warsaw and Paris, where he came into contact with a completely new medium. In 1951 he composed the first Icelandic serial work; “Four abstractions for piano”. Johannsson also wrote the first electronic music in Iceland; “Electronic study for tape, wind quintet and piano”, in 1960. He was appointed répétiteur and conductor at the National Theatre and also worked as a programme producer at the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service until 1976.