In his younger years Tage Nielsen wrote music in the Neo-Classicist tradition, but was later strongly influenced by the southern European avant-garde. He has composed relatively few works as a result of unusual perfectionism. Among his works we can mention orchestral pieces like Il Giardino Magico and the opera Latter i Mørket (Laughter in the Dark), which has recently seen great success in Berlin. Tage Nielsen has been deputy head of the Music Section of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation and director of the Danish Academy in Rome, and as principal of the Academy of Music in Århus helped greatly to develop the Academy into a strongly experimental counterweight to the corresponding institution in Copenhagen. As a young man, too, Tage Nielsen made the acquaintance of Rued Langgaard, and is one of the few Danish composers to acknowledge inspiration from this outsider.