Commissioned by the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Iceland Symphony Orchestra. World premiere performance 29 January 2021 by Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Kirill Petrenko at the Philharmonie, Berlin.
Winner of the Ivors Composer Award for Large Scale Composition 2021
The core inspiration behind CATAMORPHOSIS is the fragile relationship we have to our planet. The aura of the piece is characterized by the orbiting vortex of emotions and the intensity that comes with the fact that if things do not change it is going to be too late, risking utter destruction – catastrophe. The core of the work revolves around a distinct sense of urgency, driven by the shift and pull between various polar forces – power and fragility, hope and despair, preservation and destruction.
The relationship between inspiration and the pure musical feeling and methods, for me, tends to shift at a certain point in the creative process of every work. The core inspiration provides the initial energy and structural elements to a piece and then the music starts to breathe on its own and expand. In CATAMORPHOSIS this point in the process became more apparent and tangible as it aligned with an event that has had such dramatic impact on our lives and reality. The notion of emergency was already integrated into the music and to counterbalance that a sense of hope and belief. The meditative state of being needed to gain focus in order to sustain and maintain the globally important elements in life also became increasingly important and provided another layer to the inspiration.
CATAMORPHOSIS is quite a dramatic piece, but it is also full of hope – perhaps somewhere between the natural and the unnatural, between utopia and dystopia, we can gain perspective and find balance within and with the world around us.
— Anna Thorvaldsdottir
- Anton Bruckner Bicentenary in 2024
- Anton Bruckner celebrates his 200th birthday in 2024. The Austrian composer, organist and teacher is one of the great mavericks of the music world. We have highlighted works that can be combined well with Bruckner's symphonies or with his vocal works for your next concert programmes.
- Icelandic Voices
- With only a population of around 350,000, Iceland punches well above its weight in so many creative and sporting fields – not least in classical music. Some of the most up-and-coming voices in the film, media and classical, names such as Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Jóhann Jóhannsson and Hildur Guðnadóttir, have come this remote corner of the north Atlantic Ocean and created a worldwide reputation of excellence. Discover the work of three such composers, from three different generations, published by Wise Music.
- Anna Thorvaldsdottir - Wayne MacGregor ballet and Aldeburgh Festival residency
- 5th June 2023
- The music of Anna Thorvaldsdottir takes centre stage in the UK this month, with performances of several of the Icelandic composer’s most recent and important works, as well at the world premiere of a new ballet to her music.
- Thorvaldsdottir's CATAMORPHOSIS in Birmingham and Aldeburgh
- 13th June 2022
- The CBSO and Ludovic Morlot present the UK premiere performances of Anna Thorvaldsdottir's CATAMORPHOSIS in Birmingham and Aldeburgh Festival
- Royal Opera House 2022/23 Season featuring premiere’s from Kaija Saariaho and Anna Thorvaldsdottir
- 5th April 2022
- Royal Opera House 2022/23 Season featuring the UK premiere of Kaija Saariaho's Innocence and a world premiere from choreographer Wayne McGregor’s features music by Anna Thorvaldsdottir.