Lumbye: Hans Christian: 2 March 1810 – 20 March 1874

By | March 30, 2021

Introduction

Black & White Portrait of Hans Christian Lumbye

Hans Christian Lumbye was a Danish composer of waltzes, polkas gallops and marches in the nineteenth century.

He earned the nickname The Strauss of the North’ due to his style.

Early Life

As a child he studied music, and by the age of fourteen he was playing the trumpet in a military band. In 1829 he became a member of the horse guards whilst continuing with his musical education and playing in a local orchestra.

After hearing an orchestra play Johann Strauss I at the age of twenty-nine he changed his style. This lead to him earning him the nickname ‘The Strauss of the North’. Quite comically his huge popularity amongst the Danes thus earned Strauss the nickname of ‘Lumbye of the South’.

Career

In 1840 he created his own orchestra consisting of twenty-two players. They performed in prestigious hotels. Their success lead to Lumbye taking the post of musical director and composer at Tivoli Gardens Concert Hall Orchestra. He held this post for about thirty years increasing the orchestra size to thirty-three players. They performed around Europe.

His collection of works consist of polka, gallops, waltzes along with some fantasies and ballet music.

Unusually some of his pieces include non-musical items such as the ‘Champagne Gallop’ (which includes the pop of a champagne cork), Copenhagen Steam Railway Gallop (which depicts a train leaving and pulling into a station).

After his death in 1884 a fire sadly destroyed much of work, thankfully many of his musicians were able to recreate them from memory.

Family

There doesn’t appear to be any information regarding his wife however he did have two sons who were both musicians: Carl Christian and Georg August. Georg took over his father’s orchestra on his death in 1874.

Musical Downloads & Further Reading

On music-scores.com we have nearly forty arrangements of Hans Christian Sheet Music.

For further reading on this composer take a look at Wikipedia, Naxos and the Johann Strauss Society.

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