Johan Peter Emilius Hartmann

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Black and white photo of a man wearing formal dress, head and shoulders seen in half right profile
Johan Peter Emilius Hartmann

Johan Peter Emilius Hartmann (14 May 1805 – 10 March 1900) was a Danish composer. During his lifetime, Hartmann occupied a central place in Danish musical life.[1]


Hartmann was born and died in Copenhagen, Denmark. He was the son of composer August Wilhelm Hartmann (1775–1850) and Christiane Petrea Frederica Wittendorff (1778–1848). He came from a musical family of German descent. Although he received his music lessons initially from his father, he taught himself as much as possible. He complied with his father's wishes for him to study jurisprudence and consequently worked as a civil servant from 1829 to 1870, but also pursued an extensive musical career. By 1824, he was already the organist at the Garnisons Kirke in Copenhagen, and in 1832, he made his debut as a composer with the opera Ravnen.[2]

In 1836, he made his first study tour to Germany and France, where he made the acquaintance of such significant musical figures as Frédéric Chopin, Gioachino Rossini, Luigi Cherubini, and Louis Spohr. Spohr and the Danish composer Christoph Ernst Friedrich Weyse were Hartmann's most important mentors. Further journeys to Germany followed in the next few years, during which he also founded the Danish Musical Association in 1836, remaining its chairman until the end of his life. In 1843, he transferred from Garnisons Kirke to play the organ for the Vor Frue Kirke, and became the director of the Student Choral Association. He also held both these posts until his death.[3]

In 1867, after having taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Music (Københavns Musikkonservatorium) which was originally was founded in 1825 by Giuseppe Siboni (1780–1839), Hartmann helped co-establish and direct the Academy of Music with Niels Gade (1817–1890) and Holger Simon Paulli (1810–1891). He was also the director of the Copenhagen Musical Society (Musikforeningen i København) briefly in 1890 following the death of Gade.[4][5][6]

Personal life[edit]

In 1829, he married Emma Sophie Amalie Zinn (1807–1851). One of their sons, Emil Hartmann (1836–1898) also became a composer, while their son Carl Christian Ernst Hartmann (1837–1901) became a sculptor. Two of their daughters both married composers; Emma Sophie (b. 1831) married Niels Gade and Clara (b. 1839) married August Winding (1835–1899).[7][8][9]


Bronze statue of seated man reading a book, on a marble pedestal, framed by trees growing either side
J. P. E. Hartmann by August Saabye 1905, Sankt Annæ Plads, Copenhagen

Hartmann's works were characterized by artistic seriousness, dramatic vitality, and in particular, by national coloring which appealed deeply to Danish audiences. The Nordic elements, which could be discerned in the themes based on folksongs, modulations, and the tendency towards rather dark sounds, emerged strongly after the 1830s. Hartmann united these Romantic influences with a strong control over both form and theme, acquired through his Classical training and often reminiscent of Felix Mendelssohn.



  • Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 17 (1835)
  • Symphony No. 2 in E, Op. 48 (1847–48)
  • Overtures to tragedies by Adam Oehlenschläger:
    • Axel og Valborg, Op. 57 (1856)
    • Corregio, Op. 59 (1858)
    • Yrsa, Op. 78 (1883)
  • Incidental music for plays, including:
    • Undine, Op. 33 (Carl Borgaard) (1842)
    • Hakon Jarl, Op. 40 (Oehlenschläger) (1844–57)
    • Dante, Op. 85 (1888)
  • Ballets
    • Valkyrien, (The Valkyries), Op. 62 (1860–61)
    • Thrymskviden, Op. 67 (1867–68)
    • Arcona, Op. 72 (1873–75)


  • Operas
    • Raven, Op. 12 (1830–32)
    • Korsarerne, (The Corsair), Op. 16 (1832–35)
    • Liden Kirsten, (Little Kirsten), Op. 44 (1844–46)
  • Other


  • Violin Sonata No. 1 in G minor, Op. 8 (1826)
  • Violin Sonata No. 2 in C, Op. 39 (1844)
  • Violin Sonata No. 3 in G minor, Op. 83 (1886)
  • Flute Sonata in B-flat, Op. 1 (1825)


  • Piano Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 34 (1841)
  • Piano Sonata No. 2 in F (1853)
  • Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 80 (1876–83)
  • Numerous smaller pieces


  • Fantasy in A major (1826)
  • Fantasy in F minor, Op. 20 (published 1837)
  • Funeral March for Thorvaldsen (1844) with brass ensemble, published in a solo organ version (1879) by Hartmann
  • Funeral March for Oehlenschläger (1850), with brass ensemble
  • Organ Sonata in G minor, Op. 58 (1855)
  • Funeral March for Nicolai Peter Nielsen [da] (1860)
  • Opening Music for a University Anniversary (1879), with brass ensemble


  1. ^ "Hartmann, Johan Peter Emilius, 1805-1900". Dansk biografisk Lexikon. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  2. ^ Inger Sørensen (1999). "J.P.E. Hartmann". Museum Tusculanum. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  3. ^ Søren Berg Rasmussen, Richard Hove. "J.P.E. Hartmann". Dansk Biografisk Leksikon, Gyldendal. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  4. ^ "Om konservatoriet". Det Kongelige Danske Musikkonservatorium. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  5. ^ Bendt Viinholt Nielsen. "Musikforeningen i København". Den Store Danske, Gyldendal. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  6. ^ Nils Schiørring. "H.S. Paulli". Den Store Danske, Gyldendal. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  7. ^ "Emma Hartmann". Det Kgl. Bibliotek. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  8. ^ "Gade, Niels Wilhelm". Salmonsens konversationsleksikon. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  9. ^ "Winding, August Henrik". Salmonsens konversationsleksikon. Retrieved January 1, 2020.

Other sources[edit]

External links[edit]