Saeunn Thorsteinsdóttir

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Cellist Saeunn Thorsteinsdóttir (pronounced “Sigh-oon”) was born in Iceland, and came to the US as a child; she received a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music from the Juilliard School and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from SUNY Stony Brook. She’s currently a cello and chamber music teacher at the University of Washington, cellist for the Seattle-based chamber music group Frequency, and cellist and founding member of Decoda, the Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall. Her latest album is Vernacular, a solo disc featuring four compositions by Icelandic composers: Þuríður Jónsdóttir, Halldór Smárason, Páll Ragnar Pálsson, and Hafliði Hallgrímsson.

This interview was really fascinating for me, because I got to ask her all sorts of questions about the cello, about recording, about performing classical music, about Iceland, and about basically every aspect of her album and her career. It’s one of the most in-depth conversations I’ve had on this show, and I really learned a lot. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

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Music heard in this episode:

Saeunn Thorsteinsdóttir, “Solitaire: Oration” (Vernacular)

Saeunn Thorsteinsdóttir, “Portrait” (Jane Antonia Cornish, Continuum)

Saeunn Thorsteinsdóttir, “Afterquake” (Vernacular)