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Friedrich Kuhlau

Friedrich Kuhlau, 1786-1832, was born in Uelzen in Germany and started his career in 1804 as a pianist in Hamburg. In 1810, however, he fled to Copenhagen to avoid Napoleon's occupying troops. His appearance in the Royal Theatre in 1811 with his Piano Concerto was a success, and he subsequently settled in the city.

Friedrich KuhlauHowever, he often travelled abroad, not least to Vienna, where he met Beethoven, on whom he modelled himself. Kuhlau's many compositions for piano and especially for flute are intended for both the amateur and the virtuoso. Many of them were written for financial or educational reasons and were quickly published both in Denmark and abroad.

Kuhlau wrote the music for several ballad operas, including Lulu (1824) and his best known work, the music for the national festival drama Elverhøi (1828, The Elfin Mound) to a text by J.L. Heiberg, which is the piece most often performed in the Royal Theatre.

Anne Ørbæk Jensen, Gyldendal Leksikon

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