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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » H » Hoffding, Finn

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Finn Hoffding (3/10/1899 - 3/03/1997)

Finn Høffding (1899-1997) was one of the most important figures in Danish musical life in the generation after Carl Nielsen. Throughout his long life he made a strong mark as a organizer, teacher and composer at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, where he was also principal for a short period. Inspired by Paul Hindemith’s and Fritz Jöde’s youth music movement in Germany, Høffding and the composer Jørgen Bentzon founded Københavns Folkemusikskole (the Copenhagen People’s Music School) in 1931, and was a driving force behind the establishment of a formalized academy training for aspiring music teachers (1940). As a composer Høffding spent much time and energy writing easily accessible but high-quality music for children and the young. He had trained with Knud Jeppesen and Joseph Marx (in Vienna), and like his mentor Paul Hindemith he wrote with as much sympathetic insight and enthusiasm for amateurs as for professionals. Besides a wealth of choral and chamber music works, Høffding’s output comprises three operas, four symphonies and four symphonic fantasias, the last of which, The Arsenal of Springfield for soloists, choir, organ and orchestra (1953, to a text by Longfellow) stands as his undisputed masterpiece. Høffding’s interest in Hans Christian Andersen was aroused early. As far back as 1928 the Royal Theatre, Copenhagen staged his opera The Emperor’s New Clothes, based on what is perhaps Andersen’s most popular tale. Høffding




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