1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Svendsen, Johann Severin
SVENDSEN, JOHANN SEVERIN (1840-), Norwegian composer, was born in Christiania on the 30th of September 1840. He learnt the elements of music and violin-playing from his father, and after serving for some time in the army, and later touring as violinist with a troup of instrumentalists, he entered the conservatorium at Leipzig through the aid of the king of Sweden. After another tour, which extended to the British Isles, Svendsen spent a year in Paris, and in 1871-1872 was leader of the once famous Euterpe concerts in Leipzig. In 1871 he married an American, and from 1872 to 1877 he conducted the Christiania Musical Society, while in 1877-1879 he lived in Rome, London and Paris. In 1883 Svendsen became court kapellmeister at Copenhagen. Probably we have to go back to Schubert to find a composer whose Opus 1 has attained the wide popularity of Svendsen's A minor string quartet, while his beautiful octet, Opus 3, added to his fame. Though Svendsen was at one time intimate with Wagner, the latter does not seem to have influenced his music, which includes two symphonies, a violin concerto, and a romance for violin, as well as a number of Norwegian rhapsodies for the orchestra.