Nielsen

Nielsen

[neel-suhn]
Nielsen, Carl, 1865-1931, Danish composer. Nielsen was a pupil of Niels Gade at the Royal Conservatory in Copenhagen. Considered Denmark's foremost composer, he is known internationally primarily for his six symphonies. Nielsen also composed one concerto apiece for flute, clarinet, and violin; two operas, Saul and David and Maskarade; a woodwind quintet; four string quartets; songs; incidental music; and many other chamber, choral, and piano pieces. His orchestral writing is extremely dense in texture. His music is frequently polyphonic and often strongly melodic. Although he never abandoned tonality, he built works from contrasting key centers, so that they give little sense of a tonic key. Nielsen's books include Living Music (1925, tr. 1953) and My Childhood (1927, tr. 1953).

See M. Miller, The Nielsen Companion (1995); biography by K. Eskildsen (1999); studies by R. Simpson (1952 and 1965).

Nielsen [IPA 'nelsn], is a Danish patronymic surname, literally meaning son of Niels, Niels being the Danish version of the Greek male given name Νικόλαος, Nikolaos (cf. Nicholas). It is the second most common surname in Denmark, shared by about 5% of the population. It is also used in Norway, although the form Nilsen is more common. In Sweden the parallel form is Nilsson. Nielsen is also in use in the Faroe Islands. The frequent occurrences of Nielsen as a surname outside Denmark is due to emigration.

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