PELLE GUDMUNDSEN-HOLMGREEN (1932 - 2016)
A unique personality in Danish musical life, the most grotesquely humorous of the large generation of Danish composers born in the inter-war years, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen was - like his contemporary colleagues - preoccupied at an early stage with Stravinsky, Bartók and Hindemith, but from about 1960 plunged into experiments with serialism. He was among the Danish composers who, at the end of the sixties, rejected the serialist techniques in favour of a "new simplicity". After this his music was typified by repetitions, not in the minimalist sense, but as absurdist provocation. Some of the many influences in his music that can be mentioned at random are Baroque music, Pygmy music, jazz, plainchant, the sounds of everyday life and sheer noise - and to a very great extent the master of the absurd, the author Samuel Beckett. Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's output is large. Among his orchestral works are the award-winning Symfoni - Antifoni, his Concerto Grosso for string quartet and orchestra, and a new Cello Concerto. He has also written many chamber works, choral works and works for solo instruments.