Subscribe to Dacapo’s newsletter with

Ludolf Nielsen

composer
1876
1939
Ludolf Nielsen belongs among the last Danish Romantics. In his own refined way he continued the National Romantic tradition, but also incorporated many new features from Late Romantic music abroad. Like his namesake Carl Nielsen, Ludolf Nielsen was from a peasant family, and as a boy was a village fiddler. At the age of sixteen he came to Copenhagen, and a few years later began studying the violin at the Royal Academy of Music. He mastered the art of composition amazingly quickly, and soon songs, string quartets and major orchestral works had flowed from his pen. His considerable skill in orchestration towered above the Danish standard of the day. Ludolf Nielsen's early works are decidedly in the tradition of National Romanticism. Later works, for example the choral work Babelstårnet (The Tower of Babel) and the last of his three symphonies, have a Symbolistic, philosophical content, while his last compositions are leaner and marked by nature lyricism. Another important work is the exotic ballet Lackschmi, which was a great success for the Royal Ballet. Ludolf Nielsen also composed three operas and over a hundred songs.