Composer Hildur Guðnadóttir Nominated for a Golden Globe

Hildur Guðnadóttir

Film composer Hildur Guðnadóttir has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the category Best Original Score for her work on the film Women Talking. Nominations for the 2023 Golden Globe were announced yesterday.

The 80th Annual Golden Globes

The 80th annual Golden Globe Awards will be held on January 10, 2023, in Los Angeles. Nominations for the Golden Globes – as chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), and which honour the best in film and American television of 2022 – were announced yesterday.

Among the nominees was Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, who is nominated in the category Best Original Score for her work on the film Women Talking. Director Sarah Polley is also nominated in the category Best Original Screenplay.

Read More: Long-form interview with Hildur Guðna in Iceland Review

As noted by, Hildur did not receive a nomination for her work on the film Tár, which stars Cate Blanchett. Tár received three nominations in other categories. Notable darlings of the Globes this year include The Banchees of Inisherin, which received the most nominations, or eight; Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, and Babylon.

Especially “harrowing” subject matter

Women Talking tells the story of eight women hailing from an isolated Mennonite colony. Following revelations that men from their community had drugged and raped women in the community at night for years, the protagonists are forced to grapple with reconciling their reality with their faith.

Speaking to a journalist from the Credits – the Motion Picture Association’s online magazine – Hildur stated that the film’s producers had decided to hire trauma specialists for the actors in light of the “hugely sensitive” and emotional subject matter.

The music in the film, Hildur notes, serves as a vehicle for hope: “For this narrative, the music needed to really be a vehicle of hope and forward movement, to give us the courage to keep on moving, and to bring everyone together into these discussions and this decision-making of what to do. The music needed to draw us to them and give us a connection and a sense of community.”

Oscar-Winner Hildur Guðnadóttir Composes for Video Game

Hildur Guðnadóttir Oscar

Composer and cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir is composing the music for the video game Battlefield 2042, RÚV reports. Hildur, who won both an Oscar and a Grammy for her score for the film Joker, is writing the soundtrack in collaboration with her husband, the English composer and sound artist Sam Slater. This is the first time she’s composed for a video game.

Battlefield 2042 is a massively multiplayer first-person shooter game and the seventeenth installment in Swedish developer Dice’s popular Battlefield series. It is published by Electronic Arts.

“We are thrilled to be writing our first video game score for Battlefield 2042 and teaming with Electronic Arts,” Hildur and Sam wrote in a prepared statement. “It was such a deeply creative experience to dive into this world and create a truly unique and disruptive musical environment for the game.”

Battlefield 2042 comes out on October 22 on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. The game score will be released on the same day on both vinyl and via leading streaming services.

Composer Hildur Guðnadóttir Wins Second Grammy Award

Hildur Guðnadóttir grammy award

Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir added a Grammy to the plethora of awards she has received for her original music in the film Joker last night. She accepted the award virtually from her home in Berlin. Hildur won in the same category last year for her soundtrack for the HBO series Chernobyl. The two scores have earned her a Golden Globe, BAFTA, Oscar, Emmy and several other awards over the past year.

When asked how she would celebrate the win, Hildur responded: “It’s getting kind of late over here so I’m going to celebrate by tucking my son into bed and going to sleep myself,” Hildur laughed. “And maybe getting myself a little bit of bite of tiramisu since my dog ate my bowl that I left on the table when I popped out of the room.”

She gave some words of advice to aspiring film composers as well. “Really listen to what it is that you personally have to say and follow that, and follow through with that, even though it might take a little bit longer to go down that route, people are going to hear you in the end if you stay true to that.”

Iceland Review interviewed Hildur about the making of Joker and Chernobyl.

Hildur Guðnadóttir and Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson Honored at Opus Klassik

Hildur Guðnadóttir.

Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir and pianist Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson are both winners of the Opus Klassik, a new German prize for classical music, RÚV reports. Hildur won the Most Innovative Concert of the Year for her live performance of music composed for the TV show Chernobyl, and Víkingur won Best Solo Pianist for his album interpreting works by French composers Debussy and Rameau.

Over the last year, Hildur has received a stunning number of awards and commendations for her compositions for both Chernobyl and the film Joker, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Original Score (Joker), a Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media (Chernobyl), and a World Soundtrack Award for Television Composer of the Year (Chernobyl).

Víkingur has had a similarly lauded rise to prominance in recent years, having been dubbed ‘Iceland’s Glenn Gould’ by The New York Times, named Gramophone magazine’s artist of the year in 2019, and won BBC Music Magazine’s Recording of the Year award in 2019 for his album Johann Sebastian Bach. He also won an Opus Klassik award for Best Piano Album of the Year last year.

Formerly the Echo Awards, the Opus Klassik has been awarded for two years and is meant to raise the profile of classical music composition and performance. The award is given in 25 categories.

Icelandic Music Awards: 2020 Nominees Announced

Hatari at Iceland Airwaves 2019

“The 2019 music year will long be remembered for many reasons. The creativity and daring of Icelandic musicians did not escape anyone’s notice, neither here at home nor abroad,” a press release from the Icelandic Music Awards states. The press release highlighted Hildur Guðnadóttir’s Oscar-winning music for the film Joker as well as her score for the TV series Chernobyl, adding that there were also many fresh faces and exciting new developments on the scene.

Rock band Vök received the most nominations this year, with eight in total for their album In the Dark. The bands Hatari, Sykur, and Grísalappalísa have each received five nominations.

Within classical and contemporary music, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra boasts five nominations this year, and the Icelandic Opera three. Pianist Ingi Bjarni Skúlason’s album Tenging received the most nominations (five) within the jazz category.

Hildur Guðnadóttir, unsurprisingly, has three nominations in the category of music in film and theatre. Of Monsters and Men has been nominated for Album of the Year, Rock Song of the Year, and Music Video of the Year.

A full list of the nominees is available in Icelandic on the Icelandic Music Awards website.

Oscar Win Leads Thousands of Icelanders to Genealogical Site

Hildur Guðnadóttir Oscar

Nearly 3,000 Icelanders have visited Íslendingabó – a database containing genealogical information about the inhabitants of Iceland – to examine their kinship with composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, Mbl reports. Hildur became the first Icelander* to win an Oscar on Sunday, February 9, for her original score for the film Joker.

Heavy Traffic

In response to an inquiry from Mbl, deCODE genetics – a research company that manages the website Íslendingabó in collaboration with anti-virus software entrepreneur Friðrik Skúlason – replied that search queries relating to Hildur Guðnadóttir had caused a considerable increase in traffic on the site (traffic increased by roughly a quarter).

Hundreds of users had examined their kinship to the composer in the days leading up to the Oscars, and on Sunday, February 9, a total of 314 users did the same, resulting in a 5% increase in traffic on the site.

Proud “Cousins”

Several Icelanders have shared the results of their queries on social media, among the comedian and former Mayor of Reykjavík, Jón Gnarr, who declared that he was proud of his “cousin” (Jón Gnarr and Hildur Guðnadóttir are eighth cousins).

Elated, Kristinn R. Ólafsson – radio presenter and translator – replied to Jón Gnarr’s tweet saying that he was even more related to Hildur than Jón (they are seventh cousins). Jón Gnarr replied with the words: “Congratulations! Send my best regards to our cousin.”

Tómas Steindórsson, DJ and Twitterite, also inspected his blood relationship with Hildur, discovering that they are seventh cousins. “Congratulations, cousin,” Tómas tweeted.

A Grand Project

As noted on the website of Íslendingabók, the project aims to trace all known familial connections between Icelanders from the time of the settlement of Iceland to present times and register the genealogical information in a database:

“In the creation of the Íslendingabók database[,] we have used various sources and both unpublished and published documents. Most of the genealogical information comes from sources such as church records, national censuses, inhabitants registers and other public documents, but in addition to these sources[,] there are chronicles, books of convictions, various publications on genealogy, books about individuals within specific occupations, lists of descendants and ancestral records as well as memorial articles to name but a few.

The database is in Icelandic and is, unfortunately, not available in other languages.

Interview with Hildur

Iceland Review spoke to Hildur Guðnadóttir last year.

*Markéta Irglová – who has lived in Iceland for eight years, and applied for citizenship – won the Oscar in the category Best Original Score for the song Falling Slowly, from the film Once, in 2007.

Hildur Guðnadóttir Wins Oscar for Joker Score

Hildur Guðnadóttir Oscar

Icelander Hildur Guðnadóttir made history last night, becoming the first Icelander to win an Oscar. Hildur was awarded in the category of Best Original Score for the film Joker. She was the first woman to win in the category since 1997.

Joker received 11 nominations in total, taking home two awards (the other was Best Actor, snagged by Joaquin Phoenix). Hildur beat out an illustrious group of fellow nominees, including John Williams, nominated for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and Alexandre Desplat (Little Women).

After thanking her family and collaborators, Hildur ended her speech by saying “To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters who hear the music bubbling within: please, speak up. We need to hear your voices.”

Hildur’s music for the film and her score for the series Chernobyl have been in the spotlight lately, winning her an Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe and BAFTA this season. Iceland Review interviewed Hildur last year about her work on the two projects.

Watch Hildur’s full acceptance speech below.

Hildur Guðnadóttir Wins BAFTA Award

Hildur Guðnadóttir BAFTA

Icelander Hildur Guðnadóttir has won the 2020 BAFTA for Best Original Score for the film Joker. It’s the latest award in a streak of wins for the composer, whose scores for Joker and TV series Chernobyl have garnered her a Golden Globe and an Emmy this awards season.

“Working on Joker was the journey of a lifetime and Todd [Phillips, director] is a master for having steered that ship,” Hildur said in her acceptance speech. “It was such an incredible, incredible honour to work on this film and create it with so many amazing artists that are here tonight who did such an incredible job and I would like to share this with all of you.”

Hildur’s fellow nominees in the category were Thomas Newman for 1917, Michael Giacchino for Jojo Rabbit, Alexandre Desplat for Little Women and John Williams for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. All of those composers, except Michael Giacchino, are also nominated for the 2020 Oscar for Best Original Score. The Oscars ceremony will be held on Sunday, February 9.

Hildur Wins Grammy for Chernobyl

Hildur Guðnadóttir grammy award

Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir continued her winning streak last night in Los Angeles, taking home a Grammy award in the category of Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for the series Chernobyl. Hildur won an Emmy for the score in September, and was named Television Composer of the Year at the World Soundtrack Awards last October. Hildur is currently nominated for an Oscar for her film score for Joker.

Emmy win, Oscar and BAFTA nominations

The Chernobyl score was created using field recordings from a nuclear power plant. It beat out four other nominees in the category, including Alan Silvestri’s Avengers: Endgame, and Hans Zimmer’s score for The Lion King. Hildur’s statue collection could receive a couple more additions next month: she has been nominated for a BAFTA Award and an Oscar for her score for the acclaimed Joker. The BAFTAs will be presented on February 2 and the Oscars on February 9.

First solo Icelander to win a Grammy?

Only one Icelander has previously won a Grammy award: violinist Sigurbjörn Bernharðsson, who won as part of Pacifica Quartet for the group’s 2008 recording of Elliott Carter’s String Quartets No. 1 & 5. In 2018, both the band Kaleo and Hildur’s former collaborator Jóhann Jóhannsson were nominated for Grammy awards. Björk, unsurprisingly, also belongs to the group of Icelandic Grammy nominees – she holds the distinction of being the female artist with the most Grammy nominations without a win: 15.

Iceland Review interviewed Hildur about her work on both Joker and Chernobyl.


Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Hildur was the first Icelander to win a Grammy.

Hildur Guðnadóttir Earns Oscar Nomination for Joker

Hildur Guðnadóttir

Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir has earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score for the film Joker. Hildur became the first solo woman to win a Golden Globe in the same category on January 4.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards yesterday. The ceremony will take place on February 9, 2020, in the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir is the only woman nominated in the category of Best Original Score and the fifth woman in Oscar history to be nominated in the category. Her fellow nominees are Alexandre Desplat (Little Women), Randy Newman (Marriage Story) Thomas Newman (1917), and John Williams (Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker).

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Hildur related her experience of a distinctly Hollywood moment: “My husband got an ear infection, so I’m actually at the doctor’s office[,] and one of the nurses just came up and congratulated me! […] For a girl from a small town in Iceland, it’s kind of surreal to be sitting in a doctor’s office in L.A. and be congratulated by the nurse.”

Hildur Guðnadóttir is a classically trained cellist who has been composing for film and television for nearly two decades. On Sunday, January 4, Hildur earned a Golden Globe in the same category, becoming the first solo woman in history to win. She had previously won an Emmy for her work on the T.V. series Chernobyl. Iceland Review spoke to Hildur in 2019.

Seven Icelanders have earned Oscar nominations in the past: director Friðrik Þór Friðriksson for Börn náttúrunnar (Best Foreign Language Film); Björk Guðmundsdóttir and Sjón for I’ve Seen It All (Best Original Song); filmmakers Rúnar Rúnarsson and Þórir Snær Sigurjónsson for Síðasti bærinn (Best Short Film); Sturla Gunnarsson for After the Axe (Best Documentary Feature); and Jóhann Jóhannsson for Sicario and The Theory of Everything (Best Original Score).