Carl Nielsen – European composer

Carl Nielsen (1865–1931) in a string quartet, playing the viola (Royal Danish Library)]
Carl Nielsen (1865–1931) in a string quartet, playing the viola (Royal Danish Library)

The aim of the project is to provide a substantial new monograph on Carl Nielsen, his music and his significance as musician, composer and cultural figure. The book will cover all aspects of his life and activities without presenting itself as a traditional chronologic biography. One feature is to access cultural environments through the concept of place; Odense, Sortelung, Copenhagen, Paris at certain times all provide such specific settings of music and culture. Another is to access his world through the variety of activities, he was involved in as a musician, composer, conductor, teacher, public figure and in leading functions at cultural institutions. In this way, the project will use the prominent figure of Nielsen as a way to experience the cultural life of his time.

The project runs for four years, 2018–2022, funded by The Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Foundation. The monograph is to be published in a Danish and an English edition.











Interpreting Nielsen


Carl Nielsen conference in Copenhagen, Thursday 16 April 2020.

University of Copenhagen, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, room 16.4.11.

The conference will focus on interpretations of Nielsen’s music and the role of analysis and analytical approaches for different interpretations of Nielsen. The conference is the first part of a two-part conference, which continues at Newcastle University on 17-18 September 2020.

What kind of analysis answers what kind of questions? How are analytical approaches interacting with interpretation in wider contexts? The conference wants to discuss analysis as an approach to musical interpretation. Nielsen’s music is open to a wide range of interpretive strategies. He is a composer who works across genres, approaches different audiences and makes deliberate stylistic choices according to a given task. This gives an excellent possibility to test different approaches and their ability to provide convincing arguments and interpretations. The follow-up conference will open the question of interpreting Nielsen in a much wider range of topics.

The conference will work with a semi-open call for papers. As it is a one-day conference with invited key speakers there will be limited space for additional papers. However, all are invited to give in proposals for the Newcastle conference that follows.

Key note speaker:
Christopher Tarrent, Newcastle.

Please contact Michael Fjeldsøe.

1st Biennial Carl Nielsen Studies Conference

1st Biennial Carl Nielsen Studies Conference will be held at Newcastle University on the 17th and 18th of September 2021. The conference is organized by Newcastle University in cooperation with the Carl Nielsen Project at University of Copenhagen. See the conference website.







Navn Titel Telefon E-mail
Bjarke Moe Postdoc +4535321219 E-mail
Kasper Ravnsgaard Jensen Studerende FU   E-mail
Katarina Smitt Engberg Videnskabelig assistent +4522265054 E-mail
Michael Fjeldsøe Professor +4522144826 E-mail

Funded by

Logo The Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Foundation

The Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Foundation


Carl Nielsen 2015

CNW. Catalogue of Carl Nielsen's Works

The Carl Nielsen Edition


Michael Fjeldsøe
Professor of Musicology
Department of Arts and Cultural Studies
University of Copenhagen
Karen Blixens Vej 1
DK-2300 Copenhagen S
+45 22 14 48 26