Per Nørgård, b.1932, is a pupil of Vagn Holmboe and Finn Høffding, supplemented with training in the Royal Danish Academy of Music.
Until c. 1960 his compositions were endowed with a special Nordic tone, as can be heard for instance in Konstellationer (Constellations) (1958).
After encountering the Central European style he experimented in his dramatic works with quotations and collage. For instance in works such as Fragment I-IV and V(1959-61), Per Nørgård developed the so-called infinity series with specific combinations of intervals, and he also worked with the golden mean. These principles found expression in Rejse ind i den gyldne skærm (Journey into the Golden Screen) (1968) and Canon (1970-72), and he developed them further, partly under the influence of music from the Far East for instance in the opera Siddharta (1973-79).
In his recent works Per Nørgård is preoccupied with the concept of time and inspired by the poet Adolph Wõlfli, e.g. in the opera Det guddommelige Tivoli (1983, The Divine Circus) and this, supplemented by his work as a teacher and writer, places him at the centre of contemporary Danish musical life.
In 1996 he was awarded the Léonie Sonning Prize for Music on which occasion his Piano Concerto in due tempi was given its first performance.
Anne Ørbæk Jensen, Gyldendal Leksikon