Thorsteinn was born in Keflavik, Iceland, and was raised in the small town of Isafjordur (northern Iceland) until he was eleven years old. He began taking violin lessons at about age seven, and by the time he was eight he started teaching himself the piano. Throughout his training on the violin he became more and more familiar with the piano and began composing his own melodies at around age ten. Shortly after that, he moved to the United States with his family and spent most of his time living in northern California. By the time he was in high school he had written dozens of songs on the piano and also played violin in the high school orchestra.
Thorsteinn as a young boy (left), his father Michael (middle) and his brother
Jesse (right) in Isafjordur, Iceland.
After graduating high school in Chico, California, Thorsteinn studied English, creative writing, and linguistics at California State University, Chico. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English and went on to pursue a career in teaching. Throughout his brief career as an English teacher, he realized that it wasn't his only passion and he eventually decided to pursue his music full-time. In 2008, Thorsteinn began recording and performing many of the piano pieces he had written over the years. As a soloist, he now performs his music at several venues in Chico, California. He also teaches piano lessons and is currently working on publishing his music before he begins making arrangements to start touring.
Thorsteinn's influences include several of the modern solo pianists you can hear today: George Winston, David Lanz, Yanni, Jon Schmidt, David Nevue, Yiruma, Ludovico Einaudi, Yann Tiersen and others. He primarily writes music for solo piano, although he has dabbled in writing pieces for orchestral work as well. His styles include classical, "new age", and some soft-rock styles. Most of his work is instrumental and usually written for piano, although he has also composed pieces for piano and female vocals.
Click to listen: "Search at Jan Mayen's Coast" by Thorsteinn Gunter (a song used in the 2012 indie film "Fly").
Thorsteinn's exposure to classical music at a young age also influenced his compositions, and much of his work reflects the styles of popular classical composers (Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, to name a few). His style also emulates those of modern popular film composers. While John Williams is by far his favorite film composer, he also admires the work of Hans Zimmer, James Horner, Vangelis, and others.
Thorsteinn has composed over 90 individual piano pieces, including a few that have several variations. He is currently recording many of these pieces to use in future albums as well as a companion to his novella, The Lost Enemy. Thorsteinn now performs his original piano pieces in Chico, California. His music has also been used in
For more information about Thorsteinn's live performances, click here.