Ragnar Jónsson

Ragnar Jónsson


Ragnar Jónsson is a cellist born in 1994 in Reykjavík Iceland. He began studying cello at five years old at the Tónskóli Sigursveins D. Kristinssonar in Reykjavík studying with Ásdís Arnardóttir. He was a student of Faith Farr at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, USA during the period 2002-2003, and then returned to his native Iceland to finish his elementary training at Tónskóli Sigursveins, studying with Örnólfur Kristjánsson and Gunnar Kvaran. He completed his advanced examinations from the same school in the spring of 2010. 

He completed a diploma from the Iceland University of the Arts in the spring of 2013, where his teachers were Gunnar Kvaran and Sigurgeir Agnarsson. He began his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Music (Det Kongelige Danske Musikkonservatorium) the same year where he studied with Toke Moldrup, and he spent the school year 2014-15 at the Ecole Normale Superieur de Musique de Paris, studying with Genevieve Teulieres-Sommer. He has also received private lessons and attended masterclasses of cellists such as Erling Blöndal Bengtsson, Hans Jorgen Jensen, Alban Gerhardt, Roland Pidoux, Danjulo Ishizaka, Francis Gouton, Peter Bruns etc. He completed his Bachelors degree from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in the spring of 2018. He is currently pursuing a Masters degree at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim, where he studies under the tutelage of professor Francis Gouton.  

Ragnars playing has been described as “Pure, deeply sonorous and emotionally charged” (Fréttablaðið 22/08/2018, Jónas Sen), and has been awarded with prizes and scholarships such as the Raphael Sommer Memorial Music Prize, the 2016 VISA Iceland Culture Prize and the 2020 Landsbankinn Scholarship Grant.

Ragnar is an active recitalist and chamber musician, has a keen interest in contemporary music practices, and appears regularly on various music festivals around the world as in Iceland. He has appeared at Nordic Music Days, Podium Festival Esslingen, The Reykjavík Chamber Music Series, Tíbrá Chamber Music Series, Cycle Music and art Festival, Dark Music Days, The Icelandic Chamber Music Festival, Pulsar Festival, Ung Nordisk Musik, Erkitíð, Agalma Improvisation Series, Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival and Skálholt Summer Music Festival to name a few, both as soloist, chamber musician and as a member of ensembles such as SKARK String Ensemble and Reykjavík based contemporary music group Caput Ensemble. He has also been active in recording of new Icelandic music, and appears on the debut album of Icelandic composer collective Errata, on various recording by the Caput Ensemble, as well as Icelandic composers Páll Ragnar Pálssons profile album Nostalgia.

Ragnar has twice appeared as a soloist with orchestra. He performed Tchaikovsky´s Pezzo Capriccioso in Eldborg in February 2012, and then he performed Elgars Cello Concerto with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in January of 2016 under the baton of Daniel Raiskin.

Alongside his regular cellist activities, Ragnar is a passionate visual artist and runner.

Photo: Martin Roberts