Danish composer Per Nørgård turns 90 today.
The Danish composer Per Nørgård (Gentofte, 1932) turns ninety today, 13 July. He is considered one of the most outstanding living composers, with a prolific orchestral oeuvre of over three hundred works, including eight symphonies and several operas, such as Labyrinten (1963), Gilgamesh (1972) and Siddhartha (1983). Among the many awards he has received throughout his career are the Lili Boulanger Prize (1957), the Nordic Council Music Prize (1974), the Henrik Steffens Prize (1988) and the Wihurin Sibelius Prize (2006).
In tribute to his birthday, the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra will give two concerts in which several of his key works will be performed. The first of two Nørgård concerts will take place on Thursday 25 August at DR Koncerthuset, with performances of his Violin Concerto No. 1 “Helle Nacht” (Bright Night) and his Symphony No. 8. A few weeks later, on 16 September, the Royal Danish Vokal Ensemble will do the same with a tribute concert in Trinity Church featuring several of his best-known choral works: Singe die Gärten mein Herz, with poems by Rainer Maria von Rilke; Wie ein Kind, with texts by the schizophrenic artist Adolf Wölffli, and an excerpt from his extensive Korbogen. As an addition to the celebration, the choir has asked four living Nordic composers, all of them pupils or admirers of Per Nørgård, to write their own musical birthday greetings to the great master of Danish music: Britta Byström, Louise Alenius, Bent Sørensen and Niels Rosing-Schow.