Gulli Bjornsson (b. 1991) is a guitarist and composer from Iceland whose music typically ties electronics, instruments and visuals to experiences in nature. Gulli's music has been described as "hypnotic" (News Gazette), "a knockout - wondrously inventive" (Soundboard Magazine) and "modern, occasionally discordant, but still accessible" (Classical Guitar Magazine).
Recently Gulli released his debut album Bergmál with his own compositions for guitar, strings and laptop. You can find it on all major online platforms. He is a candidate for the Ph.D. degree in composition at Princeton University.
Bjornsson’s compositions have recently been featured by: Carnagie Hall, 92nd Street Y, Le Poisson Rouge, Centre Culturen Canadian Paris, Purdue Convocations, Krannert Center, Rockefeller tri-University, Toronto-, Victoria- and Ottowa Guitar Societies, KPU music, Ung Nordisk Musik, Oh My Ears Festival, Unruly Sounds, Princeton Sound Kitchen, Nantucket Musical Arts Society, EMcon and the Yale Cabaret Series.
Recent compositional projects include scoring the feature film Elegy for the Time Being by the young Vietnamese director Tram Luong, releasing the electronic album Techno 1 and two live VR music experiences called Satallite: Reah and Skari. Gulli has received grants from distinguished institutions such as Fulbright, the American Scandinavian Foundation, Valitor, Landsbankinn and the International Advisory Board. He was also the recipient of the Andrés Segovia Award and the Eliot Fisk Prize for his studies at Manhattan School School of Music and Yale.
He has been the recipient of multiple awards for his guitar playing and compositions. Gulli received the 1st prize at Nótan (a national music competition in Iceland) in 2010 and was a winner of the Lilian Fuch’s Chamber Music Competition in 2013. He’s has also been a finalist in international competitions such as the ASTA National Solo Competition, European Guitar Award and the International Young Talents Competition. Gulli has received awards for his compositions from Changsha, Rust and Veria International Guitar Composition Competitions.
Gulli Bjornsson received a Bachelor of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music and Master of Music and Master of Musical Arts degrees from Yale School of Music. His primary teachers were David Leisner, Ben Verdery and Konrad Kaczmarek.
You can follow Gulli and see what he's up to on his artist pages:
Honors and Awards
Winner of Nótan competition 2010
Winner of the Lilian Fuch’s Chamber Music Competition 2013
American String Teacher’s Association National Solo Competition Finalist 2013
Andrés Segovia Award 2014
International Young Talents Competition Finalist 2015
European Guitar Award Finalist 2016
Guitar Festival Rust International Composition Competition 2nd Prize 2017 - for Etude no.7
Changsha International Guitar Composition Competition Final Four 2017 - for Prelude no.1 and 5
Eliot Fisk Prize 2018
Ung Nordisk Musik 2019 - for Dimmar Öldur Rísa
Ung Nordisk Musik 2020 - for Bylur
Winner of Veria International Guitar Festival Composition Competition 2020 - for Repetitive Concert Etudes for two guitars no.4 and 6.
Scholarships and Grants
Grant as an 'exceptional young artist' from Kopavogur 2011
Grant from Valitor 2012
Augustine Endowed Scholarship 2011-12, 2012-13
International Advisory Board Scholarship 2013-14
Fulbright Scholarship 2015
Thor Thor’s Grant from The American Scandinavian Foundation 2016
Grant from Landsbankinn 2016
Irving S. Gilmore Scholarship & Fellowship 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18
Grant from FÍH Cultural Fund for Bergmál 2018
The Mark Nelson Fellowship 2019-20
Naumberg Fellowship 2019-2020
VR Music Projects