Johan Ullén studied piano and composition at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He has performed as a soloist with many Swedish orchestras and toured in Europe, the United States and South America. As a composer, Johan Ullén has written chamber music, orchestral music, songs and operas, which have been performed at festivals and in concert halls in Sweden and abroad. An acclaimed work was his all-night opera “Kärleksmaskinen”, which was commissioned by Piteå Chamber Opera and premiered on tour in Sweden in 2019. In December 2021, the album “Infinite Bach”, Ullén’s recomposition of J.S. Bach’s four violin concertos, with soloist Christian Svarfvar and London Philharmonic Orchestra, was released at the record label Rubicon. The album quickly rose to second place in Apple Music and it currently has over a million plays.
COMPOSER IN RESIDENCE
Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s music is frequently performed internationally, and has been featured at several major venues and music festivals such as Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival in NYC, the Composer Portraits Series at NYC’s Miller Theatre, the Leading International Composers series at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, Big Ears Festival, Spitalfields Music Festival, ISCM World Music Days, Nordic Music Days, Ultima Festival, Lucerne Summer Festival, Beijing Modern Music Festival, Reykjavik Arts Festival, Tectonics, and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Her works have been nominated and awarded on many occasions – most notably, Anna is the recipient of the prestigious Nordic Council Music Prize 2012 for her work Dreaming, the New York Philharmonic’s Kravis Emerging Composer Award in 2015, and Lincoln Center’s 2018 Emerging Artist Award and 2018 Martin E. Segal Award.
Some of the orchestras and ensembles that have performed Anna’s work include International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, NDR Elbphilharmonie, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Yarn/Wire, The Crossing, the Bavarian Radio Choir, Münchener Kammerorchester, Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Avanti Chamber Ensemble, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, CAPUT Ensemble, Oslo Philharmonic, and Either/Or Ensemble. In April 2018, Esa-Pekka Salonen lead the New York Philharmonic in the premiere of Anna’s work Metacosmos, which was commissioned by the orchestra, and the work received its European premiere with the Berlin Philharmonic in January 2019, conducted by Alan Gilbert. Metacosmos will receive its UK premiere at the BBC Proms 2019. Anna is currently Composer-in-Residence with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. In spring 2019, she is also Composer-in-Residence at the Royal Academy of Music in London.