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Carl Nielsen 150th Anniversary

Find information on the famous Danish composer and his popularity in the United Kingdom. Get an overview of Carl Nielsen events in the UK and find out more about Nielsen's reception in the United Kingdom.

Carl Nielsen. Photo: The Danish Broadcasting Company (DR)

2015 was the 150th anniversary of the birth of Carl Nielsen, who started out as a farm worker’s and fiddler’s son and ended up as the greatest Danish composer of all time.

In Denmark his genius was recognised and appreciated in his own lifetime, not only by music critics and connoisseurs, but also by the general public. His 60th birthday was celebrated with a torchlight procession through Copenhagen and a gala dinner at Tivoli. And at Carl Nielsen’s funeral service in 1931 thousands of people gathered in streets outside the cathedral to catch a glimpse of the hearse. 

Carl Nielsen's funeral at Vor Frue Kirke in 1931

Abroad the appreciation of Carl Nielsen’s works has been growing slowly, but steadily. Today Nielsen is widely acknowledged not only as the greatest Danish composer of all times, but arguably as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.

In the United Kingdom Carl Nielsen’s 150th anniversary was celebrated with an impressive array of concerts, presenting his versatile works from symphonies to songs.

If you want to learn more about Carl Nielsen’s life and music, the website is a treasure trove of photos, recordings and biographical detail. The website also contains information about Nielsen concerts all over the world. 

Relevant links

The Carl Nielsen Society:

Carl Nielsen 150th Anniversary webpage:

Carl Nielsen Edition / Carl Nielsen Studies:

Bibliography of articles and dissertations on Carl Nielsen:

Catalogue of musical works by Carl Nielsen: and 


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Carl Nielsen pulling faces in 1887. Photos: The Royal Danish Library