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Ludvig Irgens-Jensen (1894 - 1969)

Ludvig Irgens-Jensen was born on 13 April 1894 in Christiania (as Oslo was then called) and died on 11 April 1969 during a trip to Italy. Many Norwegian composers have had close connections with folk music and have aimed to create a national musical identity. Irgens-Jensen on the other hand could be described as European, with more of a focus on form and other musical elements in their own right. He was powerfully influenced by German and French culture, and spent extended periods in Berlin and Paris. He learnt the piano, but never tried to study composition at a conservatory. Nevertheless he was regarded by his composer-colleagues as one of the most skilful among them. He was something of a humanistic philosopher, with an all-embracing vision of art. Throughout his life’s work he grappled with the big questions about human existence. He also wrote poetry, and was accomplished at drawing and watercolour painting. Friends tell of a quiet man, wise and deeply empathetic. He loved nature and the outdoor life, and often went climbing in Norway’s highest mountain range, Jotunheimen.




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