Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson’s cause of death was an overdose of cocaine. This was revealed in a recently released toxicology report from the Berlin prosecutor’s office.


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As reported in German newspaper Bild, Jóhannsson was found in his Berlin apartment on Feb. 9, 2018. An employee of his recording studio had contacted authorities, saying the composer had not been seen nor heard from in three days.

Jóhannsson was one of Iceland’s most beloved composers. He enjoyed a successful career in his native country before rising to fame as a film composer. He was respected for his trademark fusing of minimalist and electronic elements with more traditional film score tropes.

His soundtrack for James Marshal’s 2014 film The Theory of Everything won a Golden Globe award and an Academy Award nomination. Jóhannsson was also well known for his work with director Denis Villeneuve. He scored the films Prisoners (2013) and Sicario (2015), the latter of which also received an Oscar nod.

Jóhannsson had been on a course of medication for illness at the time of the tragic incident. It is unknown at this time whether it may have played a part in the outcome. He was 48.