The works of Áskell Másson (*1953) stand out for their depth of expression and brilliance of sound. A freelance composer since the early eighties, his music for percussion already in the seventies was gaining international attention for originality and unusual approach. Many of these are now amongst the obligatory studies at music universities, f.ex in Scandinavia, Switzerland, Japan and the USA.
His music is regularly performed around the world by top ensembles such as the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio Paris, Radio Symphoniker, Wien, Residenz Orchest Den Haag, New Juillard Ensemble, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Kroumata, conducted by amongst others Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin, Ivan Fisher, Leif Segerstam, Petri Sakari, Osmo Vänskä, Andrew Massey and John Storgaards.
Másson has worked in Copenhagen, Stockholm, London and Paris, collaborating with such artists as Roger Woodward, Evelyn Glennie, Benny Sluchin, Gert Mortensen and Christian Lindberg to name a few.
Amongst his main works are the grand opera The Ice Palace, Cecilia oratorio, three symphonies, 15 concerti and orchestral works, Rún, Frón, För, Októ Nóvember and Hvörf, chamber orchestra works Elja, Ymni, Maes Howe, and an abundance of solo and chamber works for a large number of combinations. In addition to concert music, he has composed music to numerous plays, films and TV programs.
His music has been heard in most parts of the world and has been recorded on several records and CD discs, which are listed in this catalogue.
Autodidact as a composer, his music has been described as:
...etheral in sound and has an expressive character that is withdrawn yet full of intensity
Göran Bergendal, New Music in Iceland
...an essential lyricism coupled with a seducive, even sensuous manipulation of sound".
Geoffrey Norris, The Daily Telegraph
...to describe its character, one is almost forced to use words such as etheric and luscious sounds, and a melodic liquefying...
Borås Tidning, Sweden
...gripping melodic lines which weave and melt together and which seek to explode the common sonata frame...
Aachener Volkzeitung, Germany
...has extraordinary insight into the unique attributes of each instrument for which he writes...
Hilary Finch, Nordic Sounds
...of lyrical predisposition, who builds up the emotional climate of the music by the means of refined juxtapositions of sound colours
Marek Podhajski, Dictionary of Icelandic Composers
a whiplash tour de force" (Prim for snare drum)
Edinborough Festival Daily Record Newspaper