Halldór Smárason was born in Ísafjörður, Iceland, in 1989. He commenced his musical studies at the Ísafjörður Music School and completed an Advanced Level Piano Examination in 2009 concurrently with his college graduation. In the following, Halldór enrolled in the Icelandic Academy of the Arts where he graduated in the spring of 2012. In April 2012, Halldór received a Fulbright-grant for his graduate program at the Manhattan School of Music, New York, where he currently studies composition with Dr. Reiko Füting. Through the years his main teachers include Sigríður Ragnarsdóttir, Tryggvi M. Baldvinsson and Atli Ingólfsson.
Halldór has received several awards and commissions. He has written for many renowned ensembles, including the Iceland Youth Symphony Orchestra, Reykjavík’s Trio, Elektra Ensemble and Ensemble ACJW. During his stay in the U.S., his piece Stara was selected as the winning submission of the Manhattan Prize, Duo Harpverk premiered his piece 6 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and his graduate thesis, átt for orchestra, was premiered by the MSM Symphony. In New York, Halldór has participated in many master classes, taken on various arrangement projects and works frequently with Daniel Lippel, guitarist of the ICE-Ensemble.
Through the years, Halldór has performed on numerous occasions as a soloist or as part of various groups, including Orphic Oxtra, and has appeared on several recordings of musical CD’s.