Hakon Børresen was a Danish composer with Norwegian origins. He studied composition at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with the composer Johan Svendsen. His Symphony no. 1 in C minor (1901) was his first work to garner significant public attention, whilst bringing great focus to his abilities.
Børresen's style and musical language is primarily late Romantic. His music shows little or no influence from more modern tendencies. Instead, it is inspired by Danish cultural ideas and folk melodies. Børresen's gift for melody is particularly notable as is his skilful and effective orchestration.
His greatest success was the opera The Royal Guest (1919), which was based on a famous story by the Danish author Henrik Pontoppidan. The opera was widely regarded as the best early 20th Century Danish opera and his chamber music works, though not numerous, received considerable critical praise.
Børresen was an important organizer of several Danish music festivals and served as the president of the Danish Composers’ Society between 1924 and 1949. At the time of his death, he was regarded as one of Denmark's most important musicians.