The Kennedy Center

Jon Nordal


Jon Nordal, born in 1926, is a prominent Icelandic composer, pianist and teacher. His contributions made an important mark in Icelandic musical life. He is immersed in Icelandic culture.  He studied in Reykjavik, Zurich, Copenhagen, Paris, Rome and Darmstadt.
At an early age, the influence of Hindemith was obvious in his Concerto for Orchestra (1949). Simultaneously, he studied piano and composition in Zurich.  In 1956, he composed  Bjarkamal. He was influenced and inspired by many composers in Europe including Hindemith, Theodore Adorno, Webern and Darmstadt (evident in Brotospril for Orchestra, 1962) and many others. 
Choralis (1982) and Viola and Orchestra are his most outstanding Orchestral works and Tvisongaur in Violin.  In 1982, his composition of Choralis using the folk tune of Lilja was commissioned by Maestro Rostropovich for the Scandinavia Today Exposition in Washington DC.  Nordal’s orchestral concert with cello, The Nordal is dazzling in methods and wit. 
From 1957 to 1992, Nordal was the director of Reyjavik College of Music. He is highly acclaimed as a legend and advisor of new Icelandic music. He was also a member of the Darmstadt Circle in late 1950’s.
Jon Nordal


  • "Choralis" for Orchestra