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BEINTA (2015-2016) for voice and orchestra

BEINTA (2015-2016) for voice and orchestra

Born of the impossible paradoxes

The symphonic song cycle BEINTA is born of the impossible paradoxes of the human psyche and draws inspiration from the legendary 18th-century femme fatale of the Faroe Islands, Beinta. A figure of great contrasts, she was as untamed and capricious as the fierce nature around her in the small, secluded vicarage in Viðareiði – a place she’s said to haunt to this day.

BEINTA is composed by Anna Katrin Øssursdóttir Egilstrøð and Allan Gravgaard Madsen.

It was commissioned by Aarhus Unge Tonekunstnere and premiered at SPOT Festival with Anna Katrin Øssursdóttir Egilstrøð (voice) and Jesper Nordin (conductor) April 30th 2016.

The world premiere recording of BEINTA with Anna Katrin Øssursdóttir Egilstrøð (voice), Aarhus Symphony Orchestra and conductor Andreas Delfs finished in 2021 and released on Dacapo Records in 2022.

“It comes creeping towards you like a whirl at sea. […] The musical worlds become fused in the hands of Egilstrøð and Madsen, the symphony orchestra itself is softly mouldable in their hands. The instrumentation is vivid and playful, and contains an intense darkness when needed. […] Everything seems to be integrated, organic and a part of a whole. It is convincingly done considering the many different elements in the work.”

Knút Háberg Eysturstein, Dimmalætting, April 14th 2022

BEINTA premiere 2016
Premiere of BEINTA in 2016 · Photo: Frederik Sakham Lomborg

“BEINTA is a captivating, beautiful and dramatic symphonic poem, liberated from the boundaries of genres and tradition. The orchestration creates a particularly deep perspective in the piece with surprising details and the voice fully integrated. The listener is surrounded by the piece, which frames the dramatic complexity of inner landscapes. It’s tristesse and intriguing Nordic Noir.”

Music Committee, Danish Arts Foundation, December 2016

one work - two composers

The Faroese artist Anna Katrin Øssursdóttir Egilstrøð studied electronic composition at the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus.

She has composed works for ensembles, such as Århus Sinfonietta, Vocal Group Concert Clemens, Njyd and CRAS. She works cross-genre and has written music for the awarded performance ensemble Mute Comp.

As a singer, she has toured 25 countries with, among others, the acclaimed folktronica group Valravn.

In the field of modern classical music she has performed Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Niels Rønsholdt’s song cycle Me Quitte with the renowned ensemble SCENATET. 

BEINTA still by Rammatik

“It was grippingly beautiful in its simple combination of sound and image […] One must imagine a music that was full of activity and completely calm at the same time.”

Henrik Friis, Politiken, May 2nd 2016

Danish composer Allan Gravgaard Madsen studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus.

His works have been performed by ensemble recherche, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Duo Åstrand / Salo, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, JACK Quartet, and more.

He has received Talent Prizes from Léonie Sonning’s Music Fond and the Carl Nielsen & Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen’s Grant and work grants from the Danish Arts Foundation.

He works across genres and is composer-in-residence with Aarhus Symphony Orchestra until 2024. Since 2018 he has collaborated with sound artist and Ph.D. Morten Riis about artistic research on technology and music.


  • Commissioned by AUT – Aarhus Unge Tonekunstnere – for their 50th anniversary season.
  • Co-composed with Anna Katrin Øssursdóttir Egilstrøð.
  • First performance: Anna Katrin Øssursdóttir Egilstrøð (voice) and Jesper Nordin conducting Aarhus Symphony Orchestra @ Symfonisk Sal, Musikhuset Aarhus, 30.04.16.
  • Instrumentation: / / timp / perc (3) / harp / piano / strings
  • Duration: ca. 40:00
  • Film elements by RAMMATIK
  • Released on CD and digital download by Dacapo Records April 1st 2022. A future vinyl release is in the making.

BEINTA en symfonisk sangcyklus
Photo: Ditte M. Joensen

“… a magical and swarming, yet immensely translucent piece of music […] Incredibly captivating to listen to […] Raging soundscapes are exploding to the imagery of the poems and the glowing repetitions. And vibrant, almost stagnant sounds, telling us about a human nature breathing with the powers of the ocean and the nature.”


honours & awards

  • Nominated for the Faroese Music Awards 2023.
  • Nominated for a Carl Award 2017 by the Danish Music Publishers’ Society.
  • Received a Special Recognition from the Danish Arts Foundation in 2016.

Release: BEINTA - En Symfonisk Sangcyklus udkommer

“Anyone who dares to take a look into the abyss of Beinta’s soul will be rewarded with eerily beautiful moments of goosebumps.”

3 von jetzt, WDR 3 Tonart, April 28th 2022

BEINTA still by Rammatik

Very interesting and very skillfully done.

Ole Skaarup, Stiften

Release: BEINTA - En Symfonisk Sangcyklus udkommer

“Once in a while you experience something that does not leave the body right away. Experiences that enter your body and shakes the soul. Such an experience was BEINTA at the SPOT Festival …”

Kristian Gull, Nordjyske Stiftstidende, May 2nd 2016