Nels Wilhelm Gade

Nels Wilhelm GadeNels Wilhelm Gade was born February 22, 1817, at Copenhagen, where he died, December 21, 1890.

He was the son of a maker of instruments, and after struggling with the guitar, violin and pinao with indifferent success, he studied music under Weschall, Berggreen and Weyse.

After playing for a time in the royal orchestra at Copenhagen, his Ossian Overture won a prize, and attracted the attention of the King of Denmark.

Gade received a pension, which enabled him to travel abroad, and in this way became acquainted with Mendelssohn, who took a great interest in him.

After leaving Leipsic, Gade traveled in Italy.

He soon returned, however, and during Mendelssohn’s absence conducted the Gewandhaus orchestra.

In the winter of 1845-46 he acted as sub-contractor to Mendelssohn at the Gewandhaus, and after Mendelssohn’s death he became the chief conductor.

Gade returned to Copenhagen in 1848, to occupy a post as organist, and to direct the Musikverein.

In 1861 he was appointed Hof-calepp-meister.

Gade’s compositions show the influence of Mendelssohn, but are nevertheless strongly imbued with the Northern spirit.

He wrote eight symphonies, The Crusaders, the Aquarellen (for piano), besides much orchestral, choral and chamber music, including the beautiful trio in F for violin, ‘cello and piano.

His sonatas for violin and piano are exceedingly fine.