Oscar-Nominated Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson Dead at 48

Jóhannsson scored Arrival, Sicario and The Theory of Everything

Movies News Jóhann Jóhannsson
Oscar-Nominated Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson Dead at 48

Icelandic film composer and musician Jóhann Jóhannsson was found dead in his Berlin apartment on Friday, per his manager Tim Husom (via Variety). He was just 48 years old.

Jóhannsson’s cause of death is currently unknown. Husom said that Berlin authorities are investigating the circumstances of his death and will perform an autopsy.

Jóhannsson’s management confirmed his death on Facebook, writing:

It is with profound sadness that we confirm the passing of our dear friend Jóhann. We have lost one of the most talented and brilliant people who we had the privilege of knowing and working with. May his music continue to inspire us.

– Redbird Music Management

The composer’s agency issued the following statement:

We are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our client and dear friend Jóhann Jóhannsson, whose great talent, humility and kindness enriched our lives immeasurably. His music has inspired many new generations of filmmakers and composers. He will be so greatly missed by his Gorfaine/Schwartz family as well as the entire film music community.

Jóhannsson’s distinctive style was characterized by a blend of modern electronic sounds and classical orchestration. He was best known for his work on acclaimed films including Arrival, Sicario and The Theory of Everything. He received Oscar nominations in 2015 and 2016 for his work on The Theory of Everything and Sicario, respectively, winning a Golden Globe for the former. His Arrival and The Theory of Everything scores also earned him a pair of Grammy nominations. Paste highlighted his Arrival score among our picks for 2016’s best film scores.

As a solo musician, Jóhannsson released his debut album Englaborn in 2002, following with Viroulegu Forsetar in 2004, IBM 1401, A User’s Manual in 2006, Fordlandia in 2008, And In The Endless Pause There Came The Sound Of Bees in 2009 and Orphee in 2016. He had been set to perform at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound music festival in May.

Jóhannsson’s music can be heard in The Theory of Everything director James Marsh’s The Mercy, which opened in the U.K. this weekend—you can stream its score here. He also scored Garth Davis’ Rooney Mara-starring Mary Magdalene, opening in the U.K. in March.

Jóhannsson is survived by his daughter, his parents and his three sisters.

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