Gulli Björnsson

Gulli Björnsson
  • Associate Professor of the Practice of Electronic Composition

Contact Info

326 Murphy Hall
1530 Naismith Drive
LAwrence, KS 66045-3103


Biography —

M.F.A. Princeton University; M.M.A., M.Mus Yale University; B.Mus Manhattan School of Music

Gulli Björnsson (b.1991) is a guitarist, composer and programmer from Iceland whose music typically ties electronics, live instruments and visuals to experiences in nature. Gulli´s music has been described as “hypnotic” (Illinois News Gazette) “a knockout – wondrously inventive” (Soundboard Magazine) and “Virtuosic, modern, occasionally discordant, but still accessible” (Classical Guitar Magazine).

As a composer he has written for Aizuri Quartet, Sō Percussion, Contemporaneous, Amanda Gookin, Jiji, Dither, Vicky Chow, Steve Cowan, Mirror Strings amongst others and his compositions have recently been featured by Carnagie Hall, 92nd Street Y, Le Poisson Rouge, Caramoor, Green Music Center, Centre Culturen Canadian Paris, Purdue Convocations, Krannert Center, Rockefeller tri-University, KPU music, NDR Kultur, Ung Nordisk Musik, Oh My Ears Festival, Unruly Sounds, Nantucket Musical Arts Society among others. Gulli has received accolades for his compositions from Changsha, Rust and Veria International Guitar Composition Competitions and received grants from distinguished institutions such as Fulbright, The American Scandinavian Foundation, Valitor and Landsbankinn. 

Performing equally on classical and electric guitars Gulli has been the recipient of multiple accalodes for his guitar playing: 1st prize at Nótan (a national music competition in Iceland), winner of The Lilian Fuch’s Chamber Music Competition and a finalist in The ASTA National Solo Competition, European Guitar Award and The International Young Talents Competition. He was the recipient of The Eliot Fisk Prize at Yale School of Music and The Andrés Segovia Award at Manhattan School of Music for his guitar studies. Gulli also performs regularly as part of guitar duo LINU with guitarist Jiji Kim.


MFA, Princeton University

Awards & Honors

Recognition and Award

  • Veria International Guitar Festival Composition Competition Recording Prize Winner - for Repetitive Concert Etudes for two guitars no.4 and 6, 2020
  • Fenton Brown Emerging Artist - with Jiji as LINU, 2020 
  • Ung Nordisk Musik for Bylur, 2020
  • Ung Nordisk Musik for Dimmar Öldur Rísa, 2019
  • FÍH Cultural Fund grant, 2018
  • Guitar Festival Rust International Composition Competition 2nd Prize - for Etude no.7, 2017
  • Landsbankinn grant, 2016
  • Thor Thor’s Grant from The American Scandinavian Foundation, 2016
  • Fulbright Scholarship, 2015
  • Andrés Segovia Award 2014
  • Winner of Lilian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition, 2013
  • A grant from Valitor, 2012
  • Grant as an 'exceptional young artist' from Kopavogur, 2011
  • Winner of Nótan competition, 2010

Gulli Bjornsson - String Quartet No.1 (Bergmál) performed by Aizuri Quartet

Dimmar Öldur Rísa - Gulli Bjornsson (Performed by JIJI)