Björk and Sigur Rós are just two examples of Icelandic musical phenomena to gain international renown, and there is much more where they came from. Mugison, Ólöf Arnalds, Gus Gus, songwriter Jóhann Jóhannsson, and Einar Örn, formerly of The Sugarcubes, are just some of the leading lights of Iceland´s vibrant musical scene.
Inspired by Icelandic folk culture on the one hand, and the musical trends of the global village on the other, Icelandic musicians seek to find their own individual voice. Rejecting the glossy packaging of today´s music industry, many of them have chosen a rough-edged texture. Live music in Reykjavík´s clubs and bars spans a wide spectrum ,from electro-pop to heavy metal.
Alongside the experimental music and club culture in Reykjavík, Iceland also boasts a highly creative electronic music scene, with such musicians as Skúli Sverrisson, Hilmar Jensson, Stilluppsteypa, Steintryggur, Ghostigital, Thor, Ozy and Biogen mixing pop and experimental music, natural and digital, in the melting pot of Icelandic music.
Jazz and rock are two more thriving branches of Icelandic music.
In the field of classical music, Iceland has many fine performers and singers, who appear regularly on the stages of opera houses around the world – and not least in Germany.
The Iceland Symphony Orchestra travels abroad, performing works by such Icelandic composers as Jón Leifs, Atli Heimir Sveinsson, Jón Nordal, Haukur Tómasson, Jórunn Viðar, Hafliði Hallgrímsson and Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson.
The Icelandic Opera was founded nearly thirty years ago. Over 70 operas have been produced there, including many classics of the opera stage, as well as Icelandic compositions. Dozens of Icelandic opera singers have performed there.