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Oscar-Nominated Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson Dies At 48

Saturday, February 10, 2018 - 2:00pm

Listen To Jóhann Jóhannsson's 'Arrival' Interview With All Things Considered

Jóhann Jóhannsson.
Jóhann Jóhannsson.

Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, one of the avant-garde's most beloved film scorers, died Friday in Berlin, Germany. His death was confirmed by his manager, Tim Husom, but according to an official statement, the cause is unknown at this time. He was 48 years old.

Jóhannsson, who worked at the intersection of electronic and classical music, received two Academy Award nominations for the original scores to The Theory Of Everything (2015) and Sicario (2016), the former of which took Best Original Score at the Golden Globes that year. He also received a Golden Globe nomination for his work on Arrival (2017).

In a statement, Husom wrote, "I'm so very sad. Today, I lost my friend who was one of the most talented musicians and intelligent people I knew. We came a long way together."

Before Jóhannsson became a go-to composer for film, he was one of the world's most renowned avant-garde composers. His work often wove together traditional classical instruments and contemplative electronic timbres. Jóhannsson's debut album, Englabörn, caused an immediate stir in 2002, and he went on to release music on celebrated record labels 4AD and Deutsche Grammophon.

As the news spread on Saturday morning, the avant-garde community took to social media to memorialize Jóhannsson.

"One of the greatest artists of our time," tweeted fellow Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds. "And a huge influence on me. I hope you are in a good place Jóhann."

"Johann Johansson has been such an influence, especially lately," tweeted Flying Lotus. "I'm in disbelief."

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