Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Johan Svendsen (September 30, 1840–June 14, 1911) was a Norwegian composer, conductor and violinist. Born in Christiania (now Oslo), Norway, he lived most his life in Copenhagen, Denmark. In stark contrast to his more famous contemporary, Edvard Grieg, Svendsen was famous for his skill of orchestration rather than that of harmonic value. While Grieg composed mostly for small instrumentation, Svendsen composed primarily for orchestras and large ensembles. His most famous work is his romance for violin and orchestra. He was very popular during his life, winning many national awards and honors, however this popularity did not translate into acceptance into the standard cannon of classical music. He died in Copenhagen, aged 70.
Probably we have to go back to Schubert to find a composer whose Opus 1 has attained the wide popularity of Svendsen's A minor string quartet, while his octet, Opus 3, added to his fame. Though Svendsen was at one time intimate with Wagner, the latter does not seem to have influenced his music, which includes two symphonies, a violin concerto, and a romance for violin, as well as a number of Norwegian rhapsodies for the orchestra.
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