top of page

Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s CATAMORPHOSIS Premiered Live by the Berlin Philharmonic

“With her music’s humbling vastness and depth of colour, [Thorvaldsdottir] is a force to be reckoned with.”

Gramophone Magazine

Commissioned jointly by the Berliner Philharmoniker together with the New York Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and Iceland Symphony Orchestra – supported by the Friends of the Berliner Philharmoniker e. V.

On Friday, January 29, 2021, at 11am PT / 2pm ET / 8pm CET, the Berlin Philharmonic will perform the world premiere of Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s highly anticipated new orchestral work, CATAMORPHOSIS, conducted by Kirill Petrenko. A further testament to Thorvaldsdottir’s “confident and distinctive handling of the orchestra” (Gramophone) and the often “cosmic scale” (The New York Times) of her music, CATAMORPHOSIS is an imposing meditation on the fragile relationship we have to our planet. The title, in the composer’s own words, “refers both to the fact that if things do not change it is going to be too late, risking utter destruction – catastrophe - and to the way the core of the work is driven by the shift and pull between various polar forces – power and fragility, hope and despair, preservation and destruction.” [Full program notes here.]

Subscription and access information for this concert, in the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall, is available here:

Thorvaldsdottir’s “boundless textural imagination” (The New York Times) and “extraordinary and captivating” (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) sound world has made her “one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music” (NPR). “Never less than fascinating” (Gramophone), her music is written as an ecosystem of sounds and is composed as much by sounds and nuances as by harmonies and lyrical material. Among the many other orchestras and ensembles that have performed her music include the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Ensemble Intercontemporain, and Münchener Kammerorchester. [Full bio here.]

“She has identity, voice, a unique sound world. Her clear sense of form counterbalances her complex textures. And she can create breathtaking moments of real emotion.” - Esa-Pekka Salonen

“One of the most unique and expressive voices in the compositional scene today.” - Alan Gilbert

Explore Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s sound world on YouTube:

Photo by Anna Maggý. High resolution photos available at:

Recent Posts
bottom of page