The ideas behind the music

The Star in the East

The worldwide religious movement called The Star in the East was founded in 1911 by the president of the Theosophical Society in New York, Annie Besant. The spiritual leader of the movement was the young Indian, Jiddu Krishnamurti (1896-1986).

The aim of the movement was to gather together in one great organisation all those who believed in the imminent coming of a great spiritual leader, and to prepare its members to meet the Master.

A section of the movement was started in Denmark, using the same title in Danish (Stjernen i Øst). Langgaard - in contrast to another Danish composer of theosophical convictions, Louis Glass - was never active in the movement. Langgaard's contact was the leader of the Norwegian section, Lilly Heber.

The movement was active until 1929, when Krishnamurti dissolved it.


In 1923, Langgaard even wrote a composition for soprano and orchestra entitled The Star in the East. It was performed for the first time in Stockholm in 1924 under the title Sinfonia interna. Langgaard himself had written the text of the Danish version, concerning the hopes connected with the coming of the Great Master.