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Emil Hartmann was the eldest son of J.P.E. Hartmann, by whom he was given a private music education at home. Thus, Hartmann began composing even before he could talk properly, but his real debut was not until the year 1859. The year after his debut, Emil Hartmann went on a study trip to Germany, and he continued to divide his activities between Germany and Denmark. In Germany he experienced great success as a result of his great ambitions and his frequent concert tours to conduct his own works, but in his native Denmark, Emil Hartmann was often pigeon-holed as “his father’s son and Niels W. Gade’s brother-in-law”. Emil Hartmann was primarily a church musician, but he had great interest in stage music and composed both ballet scores, operas and singspiel. For the concert halls, he composed both choral works and symphonies as well as chamber music and piano works.