Kolbeinn Bjarnason

Kolbeinn Bjarnason - flute
Kolbeinn Bjarnason – flute

Kolbeinn Bjarnason was born in Reykjavík, Iceland in 1958. He had studied philosophy and literature at the Icelandic University for two years before deciding to take the flute seriously…..
He graduated from Reykjavík College of Music in l979.
He studied with the great Austrian flute player Manuela Wiesler from 1979 – 81 in Iceland.
Private studies with prominent flute players from 1981 – 84: Kyoshi Kasai in Swizerland Robert Aitken in Canada, Julius Baker, Robert Dick and Harvey Sollberger in USA.
Kolbeinn took baroque-flute lessons with Wilbert Hazelzet in Amsterdam 1988 mostly to be able to play with baroque music withhis wife, harpsichordist Gudrun Óskarsdóttir.
Kolbeinn has worked with most Icelandic composers and given first performances of their music. Among Icelandic composers that have dedicated their works to him are Atli Heimir Sveinsson, Hafliði Hallgrímsson, Leifur Thórarinsson and Thorsteinn Hauksson
Kolbeinn have worked with such disparate composers as Toshio Hosokawa and Hiroyuki Itoh, Japan, Brian Ferneyhough, Doina Rotaru, Romania, Hans-Henrik Nordström, Denmark, and Mario Lavisa, Mexico.
He has performed as soloist in most Icelandic music festivals and has appeared as soloist with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra – under Osmo Vänska. He has performed in various Europian countries, USA, Mexico and Japan.
In year 2003 he was a member of the Jury in the international flute competition, “Jeunesses Musicales” in Bucarest, Romania. In 2005 he was a jury member in the Hungarian competition for young flutists in Debrecen.
Kolbeinn has given lectures/demonstrations in different universities and music institutions in Japan, Europe and America, including his lecture on Ferneyhough’s flute music: Music not a Monster at the Juilliard School in New York in 2006.
Japan: When studying with Robert Aitken Kolbeinn fell in love with Japanese music and culture.
He took lshakuhachi-lessons with Ralph Samuelson in New York from 1983 to 1984 and again in year 2000 with the great shakuhachi-master Teruhisa Fukuda in Tokyo. Kolbeinn has performed flute music by countless Japanese composers from Toru Takemitsu (1930 – 1996) to the very young Eiko Tsukamoto (1986), including numerous first performances.He has worked with many Japanese performers, one of them his mentor, Teruhisa Fukuda.
Since 2005 Kolbeinn has worked with the world known Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa. He is now (autumn 2008) working on recordings of Hosokawa’s complete music for flutes with the composer as conductor and collaborator
Kolbeinn was a guest artist at the Takefu international festival in Japan, in years 2007 and 2008.