‘I have created some of the ugliest works ever made in Denmark’ said the composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen in 2006; ‘I have succeeded in making both professionals and laymen cringe’. Perhaps. But in PGH’s fascination with the ugly is his true, distinctive beauty.
“What might come after Påske?”, asked Anne, the chic substitute Danish teacher. “Øl”, replied Han. And there it was: Denmark’s umbilical relationship with beer, woven so surely into the nation’s language that it was second nature even to a class of first-year Danish students.
The slatted ribs that wrap themselves around the main auditorium at Malmö Live set the visual tone. Like the wall-mounted boxes of different sizes and protrusions, they have a clear acoustic purpose. But they also show you you’re in a hall that sounds good.
James Dillon might be ‘one of the UK’s most significant composers’ according to the Ultima Festival programme book, but you wouldn’t guess it if you lived in Britain. Oslo’s new music ensemble Cikada commissioned Oslo/Triptych from Dillon in 2011, and gosh did he deliver.
It can come as a shock, how good the Royal Danish Orchestra sounds in the pit of the Copenhagen Opera House. It might be the tools: the ensemble has more than its fair share of Strads. Perhaps it’s also tied to the heavy anchor of history, the idea that in an orchestra
The plucky Copenhagen Opera Festival is gathering pace. There were 29 events at this year’s week-long jamboree, which purposefully avoids any buildings you’d normally associate with the art form. Opera on boats, opera on bicycles (this is Copenhagen), opera in
To not get a standing ovation at a Norwegian festival you have to offer a distinctly mediocre performance or push the envelope perilously close to the boundaries of acceptability. There were no major execution problems in Cecilie Ore’s new opera Adam & Eve – A Divine
It takes some front to stand for parliament in Denmark. In the long summer days after the vote on 18 June, the uniform-size election posters – each bearing the face of a hopeful MP –started to be gathered up from the bridges, fences and hoardings they’d clung
In an open space towards the back of Campus Allegro – as the indoor street opens into a well, between a handful of sofas and a sleek rotunda – there’s a huge glacial boulder from which the words ‘I can do anything I want’ spring out in red neon lights.