Asger Hamerik

Asger Hamerik

born on 8/4/1843 in Frederiksberg, Sjaelland, Denmark

died on 13/7/1923 in Frederiksberg, Sjaelland, Denmark

Asger Hamerik

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Asger Hamerik (Hammerich) (April 8, 1843 July 13, 1923), was a Danish composer of classical music.

Life and career

Born in Frederiksberg (near Copenhagen), he studied music with J.P.E. Hartmann and Niels Gade. He wrote his first pieces in his teens, including an unperformed symphony. His family were friends with Hans Christian Andersen, with whom Hamerik would correspond regularly.

Later, he left Denmark in 1862 to study music in Berlin, with Hans von Bülow, and Paris where he was a protégé of Hector Berlioz. It was in 1864 where he began using the more unmistakably Danish version of his last name, rather than Hammerich, in the swell of Danish national feeling after the Danish-Prussian war.

He left Paris in 1869 for Italy, and then Vienna. In 1871 he was offered the post of director of the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, where his influence won praise from influential visitors including Tchaikovsky and Arthur Sullivan.[1] He composed most of his large scale concert works for the Institute's orchestra. He left his position as director of the Peabody in 1898. He eventually returned to Denmark in 1900, with his American pianist wife, born Margaret Williams, but had essentially retired. He would sit on competition boards and conduct, including his own works.

He has 41 opus numbers, including seven symphonies, chamber music, four operas, five orchestral suites and popular orchestral music, much of it based on Scandinavian folk tunes. During his lifetime he was considered the best-known Danish composer after Gade, and one that was primarily influenced by Berlioz. His Requiem was his most successful work, and the one he considered his best.

His son Ebbe Hamerik was a conductor and composer, and his daughter Valdis Hamerik an opera singer.

Musical style

While relatively obscure today, Hamerik was an influential teacher in the US, as the director of the Peabody in Baltimore for over a quarter of a century, and his works were performed in both the United States and Europe. The most obvious influence in his music is Berlioz - particularly his conscious choice of rooting his music in French influences, the French subtitles to his symphonies and the use of an ideé fixe. His music is often described as having a "Nordic" cast, and in letters he told friends that even though he was going to America he would always remain a Dane.

His later work incorporates influences from composers such as Paul Dukas and César Franck and the more roving harmony and extended tonality, including movements in different keys, expanded use of vagrant chords. His Seventh Symphony has been compared with Mahler's works from the same period, involving hundreds of musicians in its first performance in Baltimore, which was directed by fellow von Bülow student Joseph Pache.




  • 1860 Symphony in c minor, op. 3 (lost)
  • 1879-1880 Symphony no. 1 "Symphonie poétique" in F major, op. 29
    1. Allegro moderato ed espressivo
    2. Allegro marcato
    3. Andante con moto
    4. Allegro giusto
  • 1882-1883 Symphony no. 2 "Symphonie tragique" in c minor, op. 32
    1. Grave - Allegro non troppo e patetico
    2. Andante penitente
    3. Allegro marcato
    4. Adagio - Allegro passionato - Allegro molto vivace
  • 1883-1884 Symphony no. 3 "Symphonie lyrique" in E major, op. 33
    1. Largo - Allegro molto vivace
    2. Allegro grazioso
    3. Andante sostenuto
    4. Allegro con spirito
  • 1884-1889 Symphony no. 4 "Symphonie majestueuse" in C major, op. 35
    1. Largo - Allegro impetuoso
    2. Adagio espressivo
    3. Allegro moderato
    4. Maestoso e solenne
  • 1889-1891 Symphony no. 5 "Symphonie sérieuse" in g minor, op. 36
    1. Largo - Allegro con fuoco
    2. Adagio non troppo
    3. Scherzo allegro
    4. Grave - Allegro
  • 1897 Symphony no. 6 "Symphonie spirituelle" in G major, for string orchestra, op. 38
    1. Allegro moderato
    2. Allegro molto vivace
    3. Andante sostenuto
    4. Allegro con spirito
  • 1897 rev.1901-1906 Symphony no. 7 "Korsymfoni", for mezzo-soprano, mixed choir, and orchestra, op. 40
    1. Largo
    2. Andante sostenuto
    3. Grave

Other orchestral works

  • 1871-1872 Northern Suite no. 1 in C major, op. 22
  • 1872 Northern Suite no. 2 in g minor, op. 23
  • 1873-1874 Northern Suite no. 3 in a minor, op. 24
  • 1875 Northern Suite no. 4 in D major, op. 25
  • 1876 Northern Suite no. 5 in A major, op. 26
  • 1879 Jewish Trilogy, op. 19
  • 1912 Variations on the Folk Song "Jeg gik mig ud en sommerdag", for string orchestra and harp, op. 41

Harmony band

  • 1867 Hymne à la paix, for large band, mixed choir, two organs, and 12 harps[2]


Completed in
1863-1865 Tovelille, op. 12
1868 Hjalmar og Ingeborg, op. 18 Ludvig Josephson
1870 La vendetta, op. 20 5 scènes 1870, Milan by the composer
1871 Den rejsende, op. 21 1871, Vienna by the composer

Vocal works


  • 1882 Christian trilogy, for baritone, mixed choir and organ, op. 31
  • 1886-1887 Requiem, for soloists, mixed choir, and orchestra, op. 34
    1. Requiem et Kyrie
    2. Dies irae
    3. Offertorium
    4. Sanctus
    5. Agnus Dei
  • 1900 Ave Maria, for mezzo-soprano and organ, op. 14


  • Nocturne "Da giovine regina la luna maestosa", for mezzo-soprano and orchestra
  • Ballade Roland
  • Erntetanz, voor women's choir (four voices) and orchestra, op. 37

Chamber music

  • 1862 Piano Quintet in C minor, op. 6
  • 1878 Concert Romance, for cello and piano (or orchestra), op. 27


  • 1905 Four Preludes, op. 39a


  1. The Baltimore Sun -- "Danish composer raised standards at the Peabody Conservatory"
  2. Compositie verloren gegaan

External links

This page was last modified 13.03.2014 21:47:44

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