Composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir. Image by Hrafn Asgeirsson/Courtesy of the artist.

“For a country whose population is roughly the size of Cleveland’s, Iceland is an overachiever when it comes to its contributions to music,” reports Tom Huizenga in Monday’s (5/15) National Public Radio “Yet among all of this Nordic talent, composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir stands out. The 45-year-old former cellist first studied composition in Reykjavík at what is now the Iceland University of the Arts, then earned a PhD from the University of California, San Diego … Her music is routinely performed by the world’s top orchestras and ensembles. She’s enjoying something of a moment in the U.S. this year, with important premieres by the New York Philharmonic (‘Catamorphosis’), the Los Angeles Philharmonic (‘Anchora’) and both the Danish String Quartet (‘Rituals’) and the flutist Claire Chase (‘Ubique’) at Carnegie Hall. Two albums of her orchestral pieces were released in April and May. Thorvaldsdottir’s music is difficult to summarize because it is perpetually transforming. It feels both otherworldly and elemental, as if forces of nature, from massive galaxies to tiny granules, are regenerating themselves to create new, unknown structures, essential for life.” Most of the article consists of an interview with Thorvaldsdottir.