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Hildur Guðnadóttir
Hildur Guðnadóttir

Record-breaking Chernobyl composer becomes first solo woman ever to win Grammy for best score

Hildur Guðnadóttir
© Adrianna Perez
Golden Globe and Emmy-winning Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir has now got a GRAMMY to add to her growing collection, after winning the award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for her music to Chernobyl. She picked up the accolade at last night’s star-studded ceremony in Los Angeles, becoming the first solo woman ever to win in that category – and the first female winner in 35 years (since Sharon Robinson, Sue Sheridan and Allee Willis won for Beverly Hills Cop in 1985). The latest award comes as Hildur unveils her new single and video for the beautifully haunting song Fólk fær andlit (“People Get Faces”), which is out today. The Berlin-based Icelandic composer, cellist and singer is also releasing her earlier albums on Deutsche Grammophon, where she signed as an exclusive artist in October last year. Hildur’s phenomenal run of success looks set to continue following her first Oscar and BAFTA nominations for Best Original Score for Joker. Her music to Todd Phillips’ dark psychological thriller, starring Joaquin Phoenix, scooped Best Original Score – Motion Picture at the Golden Globes, making her the first woman ever to win the coveted prize as solo composer. Hildur’s Joker soundtrack also emerged from a strong field to win the 25th annual Critics’ Choice Award for Best Score just days after securing Best Score at the Hollywood Critics Association Awards. She was also a double-winner at the inaugural Society of Composers and Lyricists’ Awards, picking up Outstanding Original Score for a Studio Film (Joker) and Outstanding Original Score for Television or Streaming Production (Chernobyl). Hildur’s soundtrack for Chernobyl has also amassed a series of glittering prizes. In addition to her ground-breaking GRAMMY Award, she has also won an Emmy for her score to the HBO mini-series. She was named Television Composer of the Year at the 2019 World Soundtrack Awards in Ghent and is currently nominated in the Best Classical Artist category at this year’s Global Awards. Hildur will be giving a live performance of her Chernobyl soundtrack at the Betonhalle on 29 and 30 January as part of the CTM Festival, an event held annually in Berlin and dedicated to “Adventurous Music and Art”. To celebrate the international acclaim and widespread creative impact of her work, Deutsche Grammophon has released Hildur Guðnadóttir’s earlier recordings under its own imprint. Her first two solo albums, Mount A and Without Sinking, were released on 10 January, as was Iridescence, an 11-minute extended-play single also featuring Jóhann Jóhannsson and Skúli Sverrisson. Her remaining two solo albums, Leyfðu Ljósinu (“Allow the Light”) and Saman (“Together”), were released a week later. The Yellow Label’s schedule further includes the release today of a new single and video for Fólk fær andlit (“People Get Faces”), a deeply moving track featuring her own vocals and inspired by the international refugee crisis. Hildur Guðnadóttir is naturally delighted with the recognition her work is currently receiving, and aware of the opportunity it is giving her to speak out on behalf of female composers in general. “I’ve been doing film music for almost 20 years, so it’s been a long time coming,” she noted at the press conference following her Golden Globe win. “I don’t really know exactly what happened at this point for everything to explode so massively [for me] but it’s definitely been a beautiful year and incredible to get both of these opportunities at the same time. [Joker and Chernobyl] were so different and so all-encompassing.” She went on to say that attitudes to women were changing for good within the film and TV business. “I’ve noticed a bit of wariness sometimes in the last decade or so to trust women for these bigger projects. But I believe that because of all the awareness that has been raised in the last couple of years about the position of women in the industry, I have benefited a lot.”
CHERNOBYL Soundtrack / Guðnadóttir
Aug 2, 2019

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Hildur Guðnadóttir
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