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Johann Johannsson, Arrival & Theory of Everything composer, has died at 48

02.10.2018

Jóhann Jóhannsson, the Oscar-nominated composer of THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, SICARIO, PRISONERS and more has passed away at the age of 48 in Berlin. The cause of death is still unknown at this time.

The composer’s manager, Tim Hustom, put out a statement saying, “I’m so very sad. Today, I lost my friend who was one of the most talented musicians and intelligent people I knew. We came a long way together.”

Jóhannsson has been working as a composer for film and television since 2000, working on projects in his native Iceland for years, coming to the attention of the mainstream for his score on the 2013 film PRISONERS. He would go on to collaborate with the movie's director, Denis Villeneuve, on two more movies – SICARIO and ARRIVAL. He also cemented his status as one of the best and most exciting composers around with this touching and vibrant work on the Stephen Hawking biopic, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, which earned him his first Oscar nomination.

It was for all these movies that he received an enormous amount of acclaim and accolades, also receiving an Oscar nom for SICARIO, and winning a Golden Globe for THEORY. As well, his work on ARRIVAL got him another Globe nomination, and his work on that and THEORY also snagged him Grammy nominations.

Jóhannsson also worked on the scores for MOTHER!, FOXCATCHER and NERVE, and he was set to compose the soundtrack for BLADE RUNNER 2049 before he was replaced with Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch. His latest scores can be heard in the Nicolas Cage movie MANDY, and Garth Davis’ MARY MAGDALENE.

On top of movie compositions, Jóhannsson also has solo works out, with his first album, Englaborn released in 2002, and his second album, Orphee, released in 2016. On top of that, he wrote a piece titled “Drone Man” for a string quartet, electronics, and vocal ensemble, and the piece was played at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2015.

Jóhannsson’s passing is a tremendous shock and a tragedy. Over the last few years, he proved himself a sheer force of nature with his soundtrack work, with his ability to combine electronic and classical sounds made for extraordinary compositions. His work on THEORY is transcendent and ethereal and SICARIO intense and nail-biting. Then there’s his work on ARRIVAL, which is all at once ominous, haunting and beautiful. He is survived by his parents, sisters, and daughter. 

Our own Chris Bumbray got an exclusive interview with Jóhannsson back in 2016, and you can read it here!

Source: EW

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