Classical Music

New York Philharmonic Premieres Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s “CATAMORPHOSIS”

The U.S. premiere of the work will be conducted by Santtu-Matias Rouvali from January 12–14, 2023 at Lincoln Center


Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir will see her orchestral work CATAMORPHOSIS premiere in the U.S. by the New York Philharmonic and Finnish conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali in a program alongside Prokofiev and Stravinsky.

Co-commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, and NY Philharmonic, CATAMORPHOSIS is part of the latter’s Project 19 — an initiative providing a platform for women composers and their works, catalyzing representation in classical music. 

Conductor Kirill Petrenko and the Berlin Philharmonic gave the world premiere of CATAMORPHOSIS in January 2021. Largely inspired by nature, Thorvaldsdottir’s music has been described by The New York Times as having “seemingly boundless textural imagination.”

“The core inspiration behind CATAMORPHOSIS is the fragile relationship we have to our planet,” Thorvaldsdottir explained. “The aura of the piece is characterized by the orbiting vortex of emotions and the intensity that comes with the fact that if things do not change it is going to be too late, risking utter destruction – catastrophe.”

“The core of the work revolves around a distinct sense of urgency, driven by the shift and pull between various polar forces – power and fragility, hope and despair, preservation and destruction,” she continued.

CATAMORPHOSIS will be performed from January 12–14, 2023 at Lincoln Center’s Wu Tsai Theater, David Geffen Hall. The program also includes Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 featuring violinist Nemanja Radulovic. For tickets, click here.

An excerpt of CATAMORPHOSIS with the Berlin Philharmonic can be viewed below.



Thorvaldsdottir’s music is performed internationally and has been commissioned by the Berlin, New York, and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Orchestre de Paris, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Wigmore Hall, BBC Proms, Carnegie Hall; plus been performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Based in London, she holds a doctorate from the University of California and is currently composer-in-residence with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. She has taught at the Stanford, Columbia, Cornell, New York, and Northwestern universities, plus the University of Chicago, Sibelius Academy, and Royal Academy of Music. Her many awards include those from the New York Philharmonic, Lincoln Center, the Nordic Council, and the UK’s Ivors Academy.

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