Rued Langgaard’s 125th anniversary
This year, we will be celebrating the Danish composer Rued Langgaard’s (1893-1952) 125th anniversary. During recent years, his works and personality have gained increased attention around the world and, especially, in Central Europe.
Rued Langgaard was an outsider and didn’t really fit in with his contemporaries and the Danish musical life. He was orientated towards the late-romantic German composers and the music world. In his time, his music was not really appreciated before after his death – in the late 1960’s, where among others the composers György Ligeti and Per Nørgaard praised his originality and musical visions. Since then, his tragic fate and fascinatingly diverse music have caught the interest of an increasing number of people.
In the German-speaking countries, there have recently been and will be several activities relating to Langgaard initiated by the Danish Cultural Institute in Brussels in collaboration with the Danish State record company Dacapo Records, orchestras, opera houses and festivals.
At Musikfest Berlin in 2016, his Music of the Spheres was performed with huge success, and in 2017 and 2018 in Vienna Konzerthaus, the Vienna Philharmonic performed and recorded symphonies by Langgaard for Dacapo Records.
One of the other highlights of this new interest in Langgaard will be the first performance in Germany of the opera Antikrist in Mainz in June 2018.
In connection with the attention paid to the music of Langgaard and to the concerts being held in Vienna in April, Danish Cultural Institute in Brussels is planning a range of activities together with Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, University of Copenhagen, Dacapo Records and the Langgaard Festival in Ribe with the purpose of connecting professional environments and shed light on the composer and his music.
The activities will lay the groundwork for an international publication as well as recordings by Dacapo Records.
When, where, what?
We can now look back at the first Langgaard event – a successful Langgaard Day at Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. The Langgaard Day consisted of an exhibition, a piano matinée, lectures and a roundtable conversation addressing issues of musicology and cultural studies as well as the composer’s life and work.
The next activity will be held in connection with the German premiere of Antikrist Sunday the 3rd June 2018 in Mainz, there will be an exhibition, a symposium and a roundtable conversation with Langgaard scholars and the German music critic Jan Brachman moderated by Per Erik Veng, the director of the Cultural Institute in Brussels.