Carl Nielsen came from a family of twelve. His father worked as a house painter, but also played traditional Danish folk music and his mother sang.
Despite his musical interests, Carl’s parents apprenticed him to a shopkeeper when he was fourteen. But it wasn’t to last. The shop went bankrupt. Afterwards the young Nielsen found himself in the army, playing bugle and trombone. At the age of nineteen he was released from the military band to study music at the Royal Conservatory of Copenhagen.
Kenneth Young looks at the life and work of this Danish composer, conductor and violinist.
Image: The young Carl Nielsen in his military band uniform