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Hakon Børresen

composer
1876
1945
Børresen's father was Norwegian, and Børresen himself was an imposing figure, over six foot seven tall. His music, too, gives an impression of mountainous, immovable nature. Hakon Børresen's music has a majestic quality with its light-filled, muscular ambience. The orchestral music is very well arranged, carrying on the tradition of Børresen's mentor Johan Svendsen. Børresen composed three symphonies and one of the best Danish violin concertos, as well as excellent theatre and ballet music. His chamber opera Den kongelige Gæst (The Royal Guest) is one of the most frequently performed Danish operas at all, while his string sextet has once more found a place in the Danish repertoire. Hakon Børresen was a conservative, and never abandoned his fin-de-siècle cultural roots, although he survived practically all his like-minded, Romantically inclined colleagues in Danish music. As organizational chairman of the Danish composers he spent much of his time on administrative tasks, and his last years were neither particularly productive nor happy.