Nielsen and Gade. Landmarks of Musical Denmarks


  • Karsten Eskildsen



The article describes, examines, and to some extent interprets the relationship between Nielsen and his 48-years-older teacher and colleague, Niels W. Gade. It includes a tidying-up of previous descriptions and biographical notes – including Nielsen’s own – and highlights the professional connections between the two during the seven years they knew each other. Also, the article makes a comparison between the two with regard to their respective careers and ambitions: Gade as a romantic, and Nielsen on the brink of modernism. The article concludes that even though Nielsen dissociated himself from the Gade legacy at a young age, the older composer nevertheless became a role model with respect to artistic ambitions and to the demands of a composer with high standards.

Author Biography

Karsten Eskildsen

Karsten Eskildsen, MA (musicology/Latin 1984). After lecturing at Denmark’s three musicological departments (1984-1990) and at the university college Esbjerg/Ribe, has been leading curator (1994-2004) of the Carl Nielsen and Hans Christian Andersen Department, Odense City Museums. Since then he has held various posts as director of cultural institutions, now freelancing. Many years of writing and lecturing on Nielsen, Andersen, and other topics of Danish musical and cultural history, author of the biography (in Danish and English) Carl Nielsen – life and music (Odense 1999).




How to Cite

Eskildsen, K. (2020). Nielsen and Gade. Landmarks of Musical Denmarks. Carl Nielsen Studies, 6.