Svend Nielsen was a pupil of Vagn Holmboe, Finn Høffding and Per Nørgård. For thirty years he has taught music theory at the Royal Academy of Music in Århus. As a composer Svend Nielsen balances between the lyrical and the succinct. His works are thoroughly structured, but often, as in the major works Nuages and Aubade, have impressionistic qualities. He combines inspiration from Nørgård, Ravel and Debussy. Svend Nielsen has written a good deal of vocal music - worth singling out is the major work for choir and orchestra Imperia, to a text by the Danish Symbolist poet Sophus Claussen. He has also composed two symphonies.