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Musical education

Rued Langgaard photographed in his home in Niels Juelsgade, 1904.

When Rued Langgaard was five his mother began to give him piano lessons. He made rapid progress, and at the age of 7 he could play Schumann's Davidsbündlertänze and mazurkas by Chopin.

But it was the organ that attracted him, and at the age of seven he was allowed to practise at the organ of the Marmorkirken. "He plays and improvises like a seasoned musician. He loves the organ", wrote his mother in 1901. Later, Rued took lessons from one of the organists at the Jesuskirken in Valby, Gustav Helsted. For a short period he also took violin lessons.

In 1906-07, Langgaard studied the theory of music under various teachers: C.F.E. Horneman, Vilhelm Rosenberg, Carl Nielsen and P.S. Rung-Keller. After this, his father took over his instruction, though it was probably not of a very practical nature.
Rued Langgaard never attended the Royal Danish Academy of Music, even though his father taught there, due to the fact that his parents did not approve of the spirit of the place.

Rued Langgaard probably received some guidance in the art of conducting during his various periods in Berlin. At all events, once source mentions that he was a pupil of some of the major Berlin conductors of the time: Arthur Nikisch, Carl Muck (1909-12) and Max Fiedler (1921).

Professor Tage Nielsen relates how Langgaard had learned orchestration.