COMP spch Carl Nielsen

Carl Nielsen's speach

"Howdy!. I'm pleased to meet you. My name is Carl Nielsen. I'm a composer. I compose symphonies for a large symphony orchestra and songs. People say that I'm the most famous Danish composer.

I was only a kid when I began composing. One of my first pieces was for woodpiles. Ha ha. Seriously, have you ever tried hitting a woodpile with a stick? It makes a nice sound. There I was - hitting the woodpiles with a stick. And the funny part was that the woodpiles didn't sound the same. Some were low, others high. So I could actually make a little melody. This was possible because the woodpiles were not the same size.

I remember the day I was lying in bed with the measles. I must have been around 6 years old, I think. I was bored - as children are when they're sick - so my mother gave me the violin which was hanging on the wall. She sang and told me to play the same tones. It was difficult but a lot of fun. I was looking forward to playing it for my father when he came home from work.

When I was 8 or 9 years old, I accompanied my father to parties to play. At the same age, I began composing short melodies that I wrote down as best I could.

When I was a young man, I got a job as a violinist at the Royal Chapel, a very fine and old orchestra at the Royal Theatre. I earned DKK 1,200 a year. I think it corresponds to DKK 80-90,000 today. So I'm sure that you can understand why I was very happy when I received a donation of DKK 1,800 so that I could travel the world and study music.

Unfortunately, I've a heart condition. The doctor told me that I must take it easy. He even said that I'm not allowed to read books when my illness is most severe. So I've learned to knit. I like it very much. Would you like a dustcloth? Maybe with a red border? Ha ha

I would like to tell you a funny story before I must go. The other day on my way to work as a teacher at the Conservatory, I saw a man playing a barrel organ. You know the box with a handle that you turn and it plays a melody. Just for fun, I asked him if he could play any faster. The next day he had placed a note on the barrel organ saying "A student of Carl Nielsen". Ha ha

Bye. Drop by the museum when you're not busy. Here, you can read more about me and my pieces. Bye bye!"


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