Einar Jóhannesson was born in Reykjavik and studied the clarinet at the Reykjavik College of Music and the Royal College of Music in London with Bernard Walton and John MacCaw. There he won the Frederic Thurston prize, awarded in memory of the great English clarinettist. In 1976 he won a competition to participate in Sir Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now, and three years later he was awarded the Sonning Prize for young Nordic Soloists. He is one of the clarinettists featured in Pamela Weston’s book Clarinet Virtuosi of Today. He has appeared as soloist and chamber musician all over the world and recorded for various radio and television networks, often presenting pieces especially written for him. Einar Jóhanneson was principal clarinet of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra from 1980–2012 and is a founding member of the internationally recognized ensemble, the Reykjavik Wind Quintet.