Edition Wilhelm Hansen
The publishing firm of Wilhelm Hansen was founded by Jens Wilhelm Hansen in 1857 and went on to become one of the major music publishing houses in Northern Europe. In 1988, it was bought by Music Sales. Wilhelm Hansen published works by the leading Nordic composers, including Edvard Grieg, Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen. Continuing that tradition, during the 1950s, the firm put its faith in enterprising young composers. Vagn Holmboe and Per Nørgaard were satisfied with their work with Wilhelm Hansen, and Arne Nordheim doubtless counted on his music gaining greater international popularity through Wilhelm Hansen than with any of the Norwegian publishers, since he noticed that the publishing firm, located at that time on Kongens Nytorv, was actively promoting its publications in festivals and musical institutions throughout Europe.
On 27 April 1961, Nordheim signed his first contract with Wilhelm Hansen. The first work he had published by WH was Canzona for orchestra, which over subsequent years was performed in many European venues. Hansen must have had great faith in Nordheim, since the contract included the rights to the first edition of all his future works and the automatic renewal of the contract every three years. Wilhelm Hansen’s active promotion of Nordheim’s music was a crucial factor behind the many foreign commissions received by the composer.
Due to the publishing of his works in Copenhagen, Nordheim’s music was also performed there many times. Aftonland was performed at Danish Radio in 1959, and in 1964 Ivon Cramér’s ballet Katharsis, with music by Nordheim, was staged at the Royal Theatre. In 1979, the same theatre was the venue for a production of Glen Tetley’s ballet Greening with Nordheim’s music.
For the accordionist Mogens Ellegaard, the guitarist Ingolf Olsen and the percussionist Bent Lylloff, forming the Trio Mobile ensemble, Nordheim wrote many works, which the trio performed in concerts around Denmark, Sweden and Poland. (jc)