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Niels Viggo Bentzon's centenary celebrated with birthday concert and new release

Niels Viggo Bentzon

Niels Viggo Bentzon's centenary celebrated with birthday concert and new release

Pianist Per Salo has selected 24 piano pieces from Niels Viggo Bentzon's huge-scale piano cycle The Tempered Piano – hear them on new album as well as at the birthday concert for Bentzon on 24 August.

19 August 2019

The centenary of Denmark's probably most productive composer Niels Viggo Bentzon is celebrated by a great birthday concert at The Royal Danish Academy of Music on 24 August. On that same day, the release of pianist Per Salo's new recording of a personal selection of Bentzon's huge work The Tempered Piano. 

An unstoppable creative force

During his own lifetime, Niels Viggo Bentzon became the very symbol of modern music in ­Denmark. An unstoppable creative force who, right from his breakthrough in the early 1940s, was in a category of his own. No one could keep up with everything he composed, for his enormous oeuvre numbers 700-800 works, and during the 1960's he even started experimenting with happenings, visual art and imaginative literature inspired by the Fluxus movement. For almost 60 years, Niels Viggo Bentzon was extremely active as a concert pianist, and, piano music was his most important mode of expression.

Bentzon was bipolar and openly revealed that he worked round the clock when the ideas came and had to be written down because he knew only too well of periods when it was impossible for him to create anything at all. He composed at lightning speed and was able to write down entire works in the twinkling of an eye.Thus his best works could come into being within an incredibly short space of time, e.g. the benchmark Volume 1 of his series The Tempered Piano, which was composed in only a fortnight.

Personal cycle from an enourmous work

Per Salo is one of Denmark’s leading pianists and is an extremely active soloist and chamber musician, as well as the pianist/organist in the Danish National Symphony Orchestra since 1989. Salo is the pre-eminent Danish interpreter of Bentzon, whom he knew personally – as a friend, teacher and inspirational adviser.

On a new album, released this Friday, Salo turns to Bentzon’s huge-scale piano cycle The Tempered Piano, with a personal compilation of preludes and fugues from the many volumes that Bentzon wrote with direct inspiration from Bach.

“To me, the best pieces in The Tempered Piano represent some of the finest and most inspired piano music from the 20th century. I hope that the selection on this release can help shed light on this great music, music that NVB himself referred to as his musical will and testament.” – Per Salo, 2019

Birthday celebration at RDAM

Niels Viggo Bentzon is celebrated at a birthday concert on 24 August at 15.00 on Studiescenen at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Here Per salo will perform a selection of The Tempered Piano and stidents from the academy will perform Bentzon's Trio for trumpet, horn and trombone, op. 82 and Partita for solo piano, op. 38.

After the concert Dacapo and Edition Wilhelm Hansen invite for a reception and celebration.

Bentzon's music at half price

Due to the celebration of Bentzon dacapo right now offer a 50% discount on all releases with Bentzon's music. Here you can discover a.o. Bentzon's piano sonatas, symphonies and chamber music from his more than 60 years of work, that makes him one of the most important figures in twentieth-century Danish musical history. See full campaign.

For almost 60 years, Niels Viggo Bentzon was extremely active as a concert pianist. His many piano works were mainly written for his own concert repertoire, and even though he had supreme mastery of the symphony orchestra, piano music was his most important mode of expression.
  • Niels Viggo Bentzon

    The Tempered Piano

  • Niels Viggo Bentzon

    Piano Sonatas Vol. 1

  • Niels Viggo Bentzon

    Piano Sonatas vol. 2

  • Niels Viggo Bentzon

    Piano Concerto no. 4

  • Niels Viggo Bentzon

    Works for cello and piano

  • Niels Viggo Bentzon

    Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4

  • Niels Viggo Bentzon

    Symphonies Nos. 5 and 7