Pétur Jónasson was born in Reykjavík, Iceland. At the age of nine he began studying the guitar with Eythór Thorláksson at the Gardar School of Music, later continuing under Manuel López Ramos at the Estudio de Arte Guitarrístico in Mexico City. Since graduating in 1980, he has also studied with Abel Carlevaro, David Russell and José Luis González from whom he received private instruction for two years.
In 1986, Mr. Jónasson was awarded a scholarship from the Spanish Government to study with José Luis Rodrigo at the Santiago the Compostela Master Classes. That same year he was one of only twelve guitarists selected to perform for Maestro Andrés Segovia in the Segovia Master Classes and Commemorative at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Mr. Jónasson has given numerous solo performances in all the Nordic countries, Great Britain, Continental Europe, North America, Australasia and the Far East. He has recorded programmes for radio and television and released CDs. Pétur is also an active chamber musician and has as such been the leading guitarist for the CAPUT Contemporary Music Ensemble for many years and, more recently, the London-based RIOT Ensemble.
Pétur has given first performances of a number of new works for solo guitar which have been written especially for him.
In 2011, he was appointed artistic director of the Nordic Music Days international festival of contemporary music and co-artistic director and manager of the Dark Music Days Festival of contemporary music in Reykjavík. In 2015, he was the director of IMMERSION, a unique one-day festival presenting five leading Nordic ensembles.
Pétur Jónasson was awarded the Sonning stipendium in Copenhagen and became the first Icelandic soloist to be nominated for the Music Prize of the Nordic Council.
In 2015, he was awarded an MSc degree in Performance Science from the Royal College of Music in London, where he is currently undertaking doctoral studies, focusing on the memorization of contemporary music.
Since 2004, he has been Head of Classical Guitar Studies at the Iceland Academy of the Arts.
photo: Yvonne Hallmans
"Pétur Jónasson possesses an expressive technique which enables him to create music with the sensibility of an artist."
Manuel López Ramos
"Pétur Jónasson has talent and personality, his sound is flexible, comprising an infinity of colors, and above all, great musicality."
José Luis González
Mr. Jónasson´s guitars are constructed by Joaquín García