She is one of the most performed Icelandic composers today. Based in Reykjavík, Jónsdóttir receives commissions worldwide: she is currently working on commissions from the United States (Los Angeles Philharmonic) and Iceland (Iceland Symphony Orchestra).
Jónsdóttir studied flute and composition at the Reykjavík College of Music and the Bologna Conservatoire, where she received her diploma in flute, composition, and electronic music. She furthered her education with Franco Donatoni at Accademia Chigiana in Siena and with Alessandro Solbiati at Accademia di Novara.
Her work includes music for orchestra and chamber formats of different type; many of her compositions include electronics, or multimedia, others might include theatrical performances, nature sounds, or audience participation. Among Jónsdóttir’s renowned compositions are Flutter, a concerto for flute and field recordings of insects, Flow and Fusion for orchestra and electronic sounds, INNI – musica da camera for baroque violin and sound curtains of infant murmur, Winter for voice and electronic sounds, the accordion concerto Installation Around a Heart, Cylinder 49 for chamber orchestra with an old recording of an Icelandic epic chant, and 48 Images of the Moon for solo cello and field recordings from Icelandic highlands. Jónsdóttir has also created the multimedia works Cock’s Egg, Seal Maiden and Lusus Naturae in cooperation with artists Ólöf Nordal and Gunnar Karlsson.
Jónsdóttir explores new soundscapes in her compositions, where the thorough harmonic structure meets the intrinsic sounds in her search for the boundaries and opportunities found in each instrument. The flow and energy of subtle motifs and sound masses leads to a spectrum of unpredictable and contrasting actions, ranging from the intimate and barely audible to loud and theatrical. Always starting with a clear concept, her works are de ned by a specific preparatory thought progress, which in the end shapes the direction of the compositions. Her works have been commissioned and performed by institutions such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Radio France, NDR, WDR, Icelandic National Broadcasting Service and Nomus and by such ensembles as Caput, Ensemble Adapter, FontanaMix and Curious Chamber Players. Her work has been performed at festivals Présences radio festival in Paris, Dark Music Days in Reykjavík, Klang Festival in Copenhagen, Nordic Music Days, ISCM, and New Directions.
Her works have been nominated for the Icelandic Music Awards and for the Nordic Council Music Prize in 2006, 2010 and 2012.
In 2004 her piece Flow and Fusion was selected in Top 10 at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. Jónsdóttir was awarded a Civitella Ranieri Music Fellowship in 2016.
After living and working in Italy for years, Jónsdóttir now works in Reykjavík, where she has dedicated herself to composition and music teaching.
Selected works: Refill / Tapestry for flute choir (2004), Fjórar söngvísur for four voices, violin, viola, cello, organ and percussion to words by Ólafur frá Söndum (2004), Hermetique for piano (2004), Ljóð / Poem for mezzo-soprano, flute, violin, cello and piano to words by Nína Björk Árnadóttir (2004), Ballaða frá Önundar rði for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra to words by Ásdís Óladóttir (2005), Installation Around a Heart for accordion and ensemble (2005), Hanaegg / Cock’s Egg, multimedia project (with Olof Nordal and Gunnar Karlsson, 2005), Í dag er kvöld / Today it’s Evening for mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, piano, percussion and harp to words by Guðbergur Bergsson (2007), Selmær / Sealmaden, acousmatic music (2006), Andante for bass flute, accordion, double bass and percussion (2006), Leiksýning um veruleikann þegar fellur út í birtingu / Ebb and Daybreak: Representation of Being for bass flute, violin, double bass and electronics (2008), Flutter for flute, orchestra and field recordings of insects (2009), Ómskoðun andartaksins / Ecogra a dell’attimo for violin and harp (2009), Betty, radio feature music (2010), Round for oboe (2010), Jakabossa jóga for flute with participation of the audience (2011), Geisli, installation (2011), Dagur í Heiðmörk for voice, clarinet and piano to words by Gyrðir Elíasson (2011), Con moto for viola (2011), Eyja for flute, violin, cello, conductor and objects (2012), INNI – musica da camera for Baroque violin and sound curtains of infant murmurs (2012), Meeting for harp and percussion (with Atli Ingólfsson, 2013), Cruz for chamber orchestra (2013), Lusus naturae, multimedia project (with Olof Nordal and Gunnar Karlsson, 2014), Miss Reykjavík Rita, concerto for orchestra (2014), Winter for voice and electronics (2015), Solid Hologram for violin and prepared piano (2015), HYMNI, acousmatic music (2016), Downbeat Aroma for bass flute, clarinet, piano, violin and cello (2016), Sandar for saxophone, trumpet, piano, percussion and double bass (2017), Cylinder 49 for choir, chamber orchestra and electronics (2017), 48 Images of the Moon for cello and field recordings from Icelandic highlands (2017), Farvegur for violin and field recordings (2018), Sounds of Doubt, multimedia project (with Jeannette Castioni, 2018).