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Leif Thybo

composer
1922
2001
Leif Thybo has had a career both as a composer and an organist. For many years he was organ professor at the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen, and he has toured busily in Denmark and abroad. Many of Thybo's works are of course for organ, but he has also written no fewer than ten instrumental concertos, sacred vocal works, chamber music, songs and an opera based on a text by Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen). Stylistically, Thybo has his roots in the Classicism of the inter-war years, and his teachers included the champions of Carl Nielsen, Poul Schierbeck, Finn Høffding and Emilius Bangert. He has carefully studied and weighed developments in European music, and rejected some elements such as electronic music and other "constructivism"; but he has introduced the Danish public to modern organ works by composers like Schönberg and the Norwegian Fartein Valen. The music of Stravinsky and Britten has also been very important to Thybo's large oeuvre, especially the vocal music.