CEO, composer & LISP programmer









Dr. Kjartan Ólafsson (1958) graduated in 1984 from the Reykjavík College of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree in composition. He continued his studies in Utrecht in Holland, at the Institute of Sonology, where he concentrated on electronic music, and later at the Sibelius Academy in Finland where his composition teachers were Einojuhani Rautavaara and Paavo Heininen. Olafsson received his Licentia doctorand (PhD) from the Sibelius Academy in 1995.

1995 Licentia doctorand in composition from the Sibelius Academy in Finland
1991 Candidate of Music (Cand.Mus) in composition from the Sibelius Academy in Finland
1986-95 Composition studies wih Einojuhani Rautavaara and Paavo Heininen at the Sibelius Academy in Finland
1984-86 Electronic and computer music studies at the Utrecht Conservatory and Institute for Sonologie in Holland
Bachelor of Music (BMus) from the Reykjavík College of Music
Student exam from the Hamrahlíd College


 Tutorial for CALMUS, Tutorial for CALMUS, where the user is lead through the program in 16 steps.
Object and Melody; where musical objects and melody construction are the main topics.
Harmony I; where the harmony part of the program is explained.
Harmony II; which mainly contains results and observations from various harmony tests.
Various articles about CALMUS and Algorithms in Music.
 Algorithmic Composition: Speculations
CALMUS composition, Algorithms, CALMUS Composition, an Algorithmic Composition?
Interactive composition, Development, Library.
Algorithms in Musical Composition
Physical Systems, Music and Language, Chance Theory, Dice music (Würfelspiel),
Numbers and tones, Set Theory, Joseph Schillinger, Markov chains, Proportional
Calculation For Canons.
Algorithms in Computer Composing Programs
Recent Methods, Speculations, Randomness in Music, Stochastic and Probability
Methods, Geometry, LISP And Object Oriented Programming Languages.


Since 1988, Kjartan Olafsson has een developing a composing system based on Artificial Intelligence technique called CALMUS (Calculated Music), which is a computer program especially designed for the composition of contemporary music.


Among works composed by Olafsson are pieces for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, electronic music, choir and vocal pieces, multimedia works, orchestral works, concertos and music for various theatre productions and short films. His Viola Concerto received the Icelandic Music Award in 2002 as the composition of the year.

His music has been performed in Europe and the USA, including various music festivals such as Nordic Music Days, ISCMInternational Society for Contemporary Music, Avanti Summer Festival in Finland and the Reykjavík Arts Festival.

His music has been released on various CDs. List

Since 1988, Olafsson has given numerous lectures on algorithms and Artificial Intelligence in musical composition at such venues as the Sibelius Academy in Finland, ICMC International Computer Music Festival, EMS – Electro-Acoustic Music institute in Sweden, The Norwegian Academy of Music, New York University,Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm Sweden, Instituto Quazar and Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Rome, Royal Academy of Music in Malmö Sweden, Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus in Denmark  and the University of Iceland.

Kjartan Olafsson currently works as a composer, teacher, producer of the contemporary music festivals in Iceland ErkiTíd and Dark Music Days, and as a researcher and developer of CALMUS. He is currently the president of the ISCM – Icelandic Section and chair of the Society of Icelandic Composers.


Sibelius Academy in Finland

Ministry of Education in Finland

Ministry of Education in Iceland

Nordic Research Academy (NorFa, Nordiskt Forskerutdanningsakademi)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Iceland

The Icelandic Research Fund in Iceland


In 2005, Olafsson was appointed Professor of Composition and Theory at The Iceland Academy of the Arts.