Neils Wilhelm Gade

    Neils Wilhelm Gade, 1817-90,  was a Danish composer, born in Copenhagen. While a violinist with the Royal Orchestra, he won the Copenhagen Musical Union prize for his Ossian Overture (1841) and was sent with a royal stipend to study in Leipzig. Mendelssohn performed his C minor symphony at the Gewandhaus concerts in 1843 and the next year engaged Gade as his assistant. On Mendelssohn's death in 1847 he became full conductor of the Gewandhaus concerts, but returned to Copenhagen the next year to become church organist and conductor of the Musical Union. From 1861 he was court Kapellmeister. Gade visited England in 1876 to conduct his cantatas The Crusader and Sion. Although Gade displayed some national characteristics in his compositions, the Danish elements were for the most part eclipsed by the influence of Mendelssohn.