Sibbi Bernhardsson

  • Professor of Violin

Areas of Study

Education

BM, Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Biography

Icelandic violinist Sibbi Bernhardsson ’95 joined the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory in 2017. During his 17-year tenure as a member of the Pacifica Quartet (2000-2017), he performed more than 90 concerts each year worldwide in many of the leading concert halls including Wigmore Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus, Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw, Suntory Hall, and New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. 

Bernhardsson has performed at festivals including the Edinburgh Festival, Ravinia, Music@Menlo, and the Iceland Art Festival. Collaborations include those with Menahem Pressler, Yo-Yo Ma, Jörg Widmann, Lynn Harrell, Leon Fleisher, Johannes Moser, the Emerson String Quartet, and members of the Guarneri and Cleveland quartets. 

He has appeared on television on the Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, and the MTV Europe Music Awards with award-winning rock artist Björk.

With the Pacifica Quartet, he received numerous honors including a Grammy Award, Musical America Ensemble of the Year, and the Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Bernhardsson gives regular concerts and master classes across the U.S. and in Europe and Asia. He has appeared as a soloist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra.

His teachers include Gudny Gudmundsdottir, Almita and Roland Vamos, Matias Tacke and Shmuel Ashkenasi.

He was previously on the faculty of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. 
 

With the Pacifica Quartet, Bernhardsson has received several honors including a Grammy Award, Musical America Ensemble of the Year, and the Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Að vornóttum/On Spring Nights: Music for Violin by Thorkell Sigurbjornsson (2018)
Sibbi Bernhardsson, violin and Anna Guðný Guðmundsdóttir, piano

Brahms Piano Quintet and Schumann String Quartet (2017) 
Pacifica Quartet, Menahem Pressler

Ornstein: Piano Quintet and String Quartet No. 2 (2015) 
Pacifica Quartet, Marc-André Hamlin

Mozart and Brahms Clarinet Quintets (2014)
Pacifica Quartet, Anthony McGill

The Soviet Experience, Vol. IV: The Quartets of Shostakovich and His Contemporaries (2013)
Pacifica Quartet

The Soviet Experience, Vol. III: The Quartets of Shostakovich and His Contemporaries (2013)
Pacifica Quartet

The Soviet Experience, Vol. II: The Quartets of Shostakovich and His Contemporaries (2012)
Pacifica Quartet

The Soviet Experience, Vol. I: The Quartets of Shostakovich and His Contemporaries (2011)
Pacifica Quartet

Elliott Carter: String Quartets Nos. 2, 3 and 4 (2009)
Pacifica Quartet

*Elliott Carter: String Quartets Nos. 1 and 5 (2008)
Pacifica Quartet

Declarations: Music Between the Wars. Quartets by Paul Hindemith, Leoš Janáček, and Ruth Crawford Seeger (2006)
Pacifica Quartet

Mendelssohn: The Complete String Quartets (2005)
Pacifica Quartet

Dvorák: String Quartet, Op.106 and String Quintet, Op. 97 (2001)
Pacifica Quartet, Michael Tree, viola

Bjork: Homogenic (1997)
Icelandic String Octet

Music by Ysaÿe, Prokofiev, J.S. Bach, and Thorkelsdottir (1995), Skref label
Sibbi Bernhardsson, violin and James Howsmon, piano

*Winner of 2008 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance

Notes

Sibbi Bernhardsson Appointed Artistic Director of Iceland Music Festival

December 3, 2019

Oberlin violin professor Sibbi Bernhardsson has been appointed artistic director of the Harpa International Music Academy (HIMA). Found in 2013 in Reykjavik, Iceland, the 11-day festival is held in the award-winning Harpa concert hall and conference center.

The academy conducts two simultaneous programs in violin, viola, and cello—a junior division for string students ages 7 to 12 and a senior division for emerging young artists ages 13 to 22. In both divisions, students receive daily lessons, participate in chamber music rehearsals and coachings, attend and perform in master classes, have access to workshops on professional and career development, and are given performance opportunities. While most of the students come from Iceland, HIMA also draws participants from Europe, Asia, and the Americas every year.

“My goal is to help enrich the vibrant musical life and training of young musicians in my native Iceland as well as continue HIMA’s mission of connecting the country to the international musical world,” says Bernhardsson.

The 2020 festival runs from June 9-20.

News

This Week in Photos: Beautiful Artistry

November 19, 2020

A display of artwork by Studio Art seniors is shown to President Carmen Twillie Ambar. Her walk through Robert D. Baron ’64 Art Gallery was accented by sculptures and vibrant multimedia pieces. This visit is just one of the images featured in this week’s photo series.

This Week in Photos: Elections to Mini Pumpkins

November 4, 2020

In this week’s photo series we swing by the voting polls, rub elbows with a professor, linger under a big tent of images, decompress at an outside night concert and faculty recital, pull up a seat at the Cat, head to Finney Chapel for taiko, and pick up a brush to do some mini pumpkin painting.