Composers / Witold Lutosławski / Persons catalog

Per Nørgård

Per Nørgård (b. 1932) – Danish composer, professor of composition at the Academy of Music in Aarhus, prizewinner of the Lutosławski Centennial Medal.

He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen in the class of Vagna Holboe, and in Paris under Nadia Boulanger. His creative output consists of over 300 works, including symphonies, chamber music, choral music, operas, electronic music, ballet and film music.

Maciej Jabłoński compared his symphonic works with those of Witold Lutosławski: “Nørgård achieves formal coherence by creating of multi-layered connections between discrete phenomena, and not (as in Penderecki, for example) through a monumental and impressive, but ultimately predictable construction. Such an approach is closer in my mind to Lutosławski, but the Danish composer also seems to be more daring in his nonchalant breadth of artistic stroke, while necessarily losing the Lutosławski’s elegance and distance.” (Glissando 2006, no. 8).

In 1994, the concert Hommage à Lutosławski included the performance of Per Nørgård’s Out of this World (Parting) for double string quintet or string orchestra. His commentary reads in part: “The work, commissioned by WItold Lutosławski's friends, is a symbolic valediction to the great composer and a noble-minded man. The title quoted the opening words of Biz dünyadan, a poem by Yunus Emre, a 14th century Turkish poet: ‘We are on the road which leads out of this world, making our farewells to those left behind...’”.

On November 29, 2013, in Copenhague, Per Nørgård received the Lutosławski Centennial Medal for his outstanding contribution to the dissemination of Polish composer’s heritage. The decoration took place during a concert at which Per Nørgård commemorated Witold Lutosławski with the performance of his piece for piano solo, En blomst som rosen... (sw/mk)