Niels Wilhelm Gade (1817–1890)

Nils Wilhelm Gade made his breakthrough with the overture Efterklange af Ossian in 1840. Afterwards he spent some years as composer and conductor in Leipzig, maintaining a close relationship with Schumann, Mendelssohn and also with Breitkopf & Härtel.

In 1848 Gade returned to Copenhagen and worked as composer, director of the musical society and as the first director of the newly founded music conservatory.

A distinctive “nordic sound” is prevailing in Gade’s music in which he draws on mythology and also on folkloristic elements. However, rather than using existing folk songs, Gade creates something new in a folkloristic manner and integrates this in his personal style, and by that he crucially shapes the nationally oriented symphonic works.

Once disappeared from the international concert repertory, his works increasingly regain recognition. Up to this day, Gade is one of the most important composers of the romantic era in Denmark.