Helgi Royal Albert Hall.jpg


(To read Helgi Ingvarsson's teaching CV, click HERE)

Helgi Rafn Ingvarsson (b.1985) is a versatile composer, conductor, teacher and singer currently based in Reykjavík, Iceland. In April 2018 he completed his doctorate degree in music composition (DMus) at Guildhall School of Music and Drama London, generously supported by the Guildhall School Trust (more here). A complete list of Ingvarsson's education is available at the bottom of this page.

Helgi’s original music has been described by renowned Icelandic critic Jónas Sen to have “a strong personal style” which “echoes the past” but with a completely unique inspiration. This music is now available on Spotify on Ingvarsson’s debut album ‘Castle in Air’. The nine tracks on the album celebrate the solo string instruments, and especially the unique sonority of the cello. The title work, Castle in Air for solo cello, has been performed numerous times by fantastic UK based cellists like Guðný Jónasdóttir, Clare O'Connell of the Chroma Ensemble, and Martin Johnson section leader at RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Ireland. A list of Ingvarsson's recent commissions and works is available below. described Helgi’s 4.1 Earths, which was premiered by ALDAorchestra in Brighton 6 December 2016, as being “assembled with a powerful crescendo. I particularly loved the string sections and the double bass and the piano seemed to play off one another cleverly. [...] The concluding piece, Vetrarþoka [also by Helgi], […] was illuminating, delicate and beautiful.”

Helgi has been awarded and sponsored in the past by e.g. The Michael Tippett Musical Foundation, Guildhall’s Doctoral Candidate Development Fund, The Artists’ Salaries in Iceland, Tónskáldasjóður RÚV (the Icelandic national broadcaster's composer's fund), Arts Council England, Rannís research fund Iceland, STEF (copyright management society of Iceland), and Kópavogur Arts Council in Iceland.

Helgi Ingvarsson is an associate composer of the West Pier Music co.


Recent works/commissions

·       Vefur (Loom), a revised version of the 2012 quintet Penelopeia, for Reyjavík Chamber Orchestra (Kammersveit Reykjavíkur). Premiere 2 February 2019 as part of the Dark Music Days festival “Grand Finale” concert in Harpa, Reykjavík.

·       Þú komst með jólin til mín, a Christmas song arrangement for 8 voice mixed choir, premiered by Esja Men’s Choir, Katla Women’s Choir, Reykjavík Boys’ Choir and Olga Vocal Ensemble in Langholtskirkja church Reyjavík, 18 December 2018.

·       ELEKTRA, a commission from the renowned Reykjavík quintet the Elektra Ensemble. Premiered in Harpa, Reykjavík 29 October 2017, and due to be released on their upcoming album. Sponsored by The Artists’ Salaries, Iceland.

·       Maybe we skip this one, for solo trumpet and concert band. Commissioned by Kópavogur Youth Concert Band in Iceland, for their 50th anniversary on 5 March 2017. Sponsored by Tónskáldasjóður RÚV (the Icelandic national broadcaster's composer's fund)

·       After the Fall (2017) chamber opera for soprano, baritone, flute, piano and percussion. Supported by Guildhall’s Doctoral Candidate Development Fund.

·       4.1 Earths, for chamber orchestra. Commissioned by ALDAorchestra for their debut concert Icelandic Winter, 6 December 2016, Brighton. Sponsored by Arts Council England, and Rannís research fund Iceland.

·       Vetrarþoka (Winter Fog) for soprano and piano, commissioned by soprano Rannveig Káradóttir, and released on her album Krot in 2016. Broken Line trio has since commissioned an instrumental version of the piece for flute, piano and vibraphone which will be premiered 6 April 2018 in Brighton.

·       Fótboltaópera (Football opera) for six singers, whistle, and snare drum. Commissioned by Kopavogur Opera Days, Iceland and premiered 1-5 June 2016. Sponsored by the Kopavogur town Arts Council, Iceland.

·       Évariste (2015) chamber opera for five singers and string quartet. A commission from the Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, London.

·       A Glacier´s Requiem (2013) for flute, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, piano, viola and contrabass. Premiered by BBCSO players at Maida Vale Studios, London, 15 March 2013.



2013-2017     Doctorate degree in Music (DMus). Sponsored by the Guildhall School Trust. Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. Tutors: Matthew King and Nye Parry.

2012-2013     Composition Fellowship (Guildhall Artist Fellow). Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.

2012             Advanced Composition. Dartington International Summer School. Sponsored by The Michael Tippett Musical Foundation. Tutor: Detlev Glanert.

2011-2012     Master of Music in Composition (MMus). Graduated with distinction. Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. Tutor: Matthew King.

2009-2010    Jazz arranging techniques. Tónlistarskóli FÍH (The Academy of the Association of Icelandic Musicians, Reykjavík).

09-12/2008   Music composition towards BA qualification. Malmö Academy of Music, Sweden. Tutor: Rolf Martinsson.

2006-2009    BA in music composition. Graduated with distinction. Iceland Academy of the Arts. Tutor: Kjartan Ólafsson.

2003-2006    Classical singing, bass-baritone. Söngskólinn í Reykjavík (Reykjavík Vocal Academy). Tutor: Margrét Bóasdóttir.