Danish romantic composer
Born 200 years ago: Niels W. Gade
The Danish composer Niels W. Gade was born 200 years ago on 22 February. At the age of 26, Gade experienced a sensational breakthrough when Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy successfully premiered his first symphony in March 1843. From 1843 to 1848 Gade lived in Leipzig, where he developed a close friendship with Mendelssohn as well as Robert and Clara Schumann. He became a teacher at the conservatory and conducted the Gewandhaus orchestra alongside Mendelssohn. After Mendelssohn’s death in 1847 Gade remained as the sole conductor. Nevertheless he returned to Copenhagen in 1848 where he soon stood out as the leading personality in the city’s musical life. Until the end of his life in 1890 Gade’s compositions - orchestral, choral and piano works as well as chamber music - enjoyed great popularity throughout Europe. After his death his works disappeared from the international concert repertoire but over the last 25-30 years there has been a revival of interest which can also be contributed to the ongoing publication of the Complete Edition of Gade’s Works issued by Engstrøm & Sødring and Bärenreiter.