Johann Johannsson, Oscar-Nominated ‘Sicario’ Composer, Dead at 48
Jóhann Jóhannsson, Icelandic electronic musician and Oscar-nominated film composer of The Theory of Everything, Sicario and Arrival, has died at the age of 48.
The composer was found dead at his Berlin apartment Friday, his manager Tim Husom confirmed to Variety. No cause of death was revealed but Berlin authorities are investigating and an autopsy will be performed.
“It is with profound sadness that we confirm the passing of our dear friend Jóhann,” Redbird Music Management wrote in a statement on Jóhannsson’s Facebook page. “We have lost one of the most talented and brilliant people who we had the privilege of knowing and working with. May his music continue to inspire us.”
Deutsche Grammaphon, Jóhannsson’s label since 2016, tweeted, “[T]he team at Deutsche Grammophon are in deep mourning over the loss of our friend, Jóhann Jóhannsson. In the three years of our close collaboration, a true friendship had grown. The power of his music will live on and continue to touch us. ”
One of cinema’s most acclaimed composers of the past decade, Jóhannsson earned a pair of Best Original Score Academy Award nominations for 2014’s The Theory of Everything and his influential work on 2015’s Sicario. The composer earned a Golden Globe for The Theory of Everything score, which also scored a Grammy nomination for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media.
Jóhannsson’s ascension in Hollywood mirrored that of director and frequent collaborator Denis Villeneuve, who recruited the composer to score 2013’s Prisoners, 2015’s Sicario and 2016’s Arrival. Jóhannsson also worked on Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 but was replaced by Hans Zimmer.
Born in Reykjavík, Iceland, Jóhannsson began his career as an indie rocker and experimental electronic musician before releasing his first album, Englabörn, in 2002. Over the next 15 years, Jóhannsson balanced his own work – including 2004’s IBM 1401, A User’s Manual, a tribute to his father who worked for the computer giant – with compositional work for films, television (including Netflix’s sci-fi series The OA) and theatre. Jóhannsson’s final LP Orphée was named one of Rolling Stone‘s 20 Best Avant Albums of 2016.
Less than two weeks ago, Jóhannsson performed at Barcelona’s Auditoril; the composer was also scheduled to appear at the city’s Primavera Sound festival this summer.
“Extremely sad news: we are very shocked and sorry to hear about the unexpected death of Jóhann Jóhannsson, who was playing in Barcelona just a week ago and whom we were looking forward to welcoming at Primavera Sound,” the festival tweeted. “All our sympathy goes to his family, friends and collaborators.”
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Prior to his death, Jóhannsson also provided scores for the Nicolas Cage Sundance hit Mandy, James Marsh’s The Mercy and the upcoming biblical drama Mary Magdalene.
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