Niels Vilhelm Gade

Gade, Niels Vilhelm


Born Feb. 22, 1817, in Copenhagen; died there Dec. 21, 1890. Danish composer, violinist, organist, conductor, and musical figure.

Gade was the son of a master craftsman of musical instruments. He studied composition with A. P. Berggreen. He made his debut as a violinist in 1833 and in 1834 began playing in the court orchestra in Copenhagen. In 1844 he went to Leipzig as assistant conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra (directed by F. Mendelssohn). In 1850, Gade became principal conductor of the Musical Society and in 1862, a conductor of the Royal Theater in Copenhagen. He was one of the founders of the Copenhagen Conservatory (1866) and its director.

Gade led the Danish school of composition; a representative of the romantic trend in national music, he incorporated images of Scandinavian poetry into his works. He also introduced Scandinavian melodies into European music of the 19th century. He composed the Singspiel Mariotta (1850), three ballets, eight symphonies, seven programmatic overtures including Echoes from Ossian (1840), the suite Holbergiania (1884); and many cantatas, instrumental ensembles, works for piano and organ, choruses, songs, and music for the theater. Gade also wrote arrangements of folk melodies.


Behrend, W. Niels W. Gade. Leipzig, 1918.