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Ole Buck

Born: 1945

Nationality: Danish

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Photo © Lars Skaaning


Ole Buck was born in Copenhagen on February 1 1945. He started to compose when in school, and when he graduated, he contacted a number of older composers, including Per Nørgård and Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen for further advice and he became part of the group of younger composers dedicated to analysing and discussing modern scores.

When Buck was famously not accepted at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Per Nørgård left the academy for the Aarhus Academy of Music along with his composition class, where Buck was accepted in 1965. 

At the age of 20 he finished his first major piece, Calligraphy. It was mostly influenced by European modernism, but it brought something new in the combination of figuratively repetitious and small, slowly evolving sound patterns suggestive of minimalism. 

Among his most well-known works are Summer Trio (1968) – a defining piece in the new Danish simplicity; Felix Luna (1970-71) – a ballet commissioned by the Royal Danish Theatre; Gymel (1983) – one of Buck’s many internationally performed pieces and Landscapes I-IV (1992-1995) – inspired in part by the landscapes surrounding his home in Lolland.

There is a spacious character to many of Buck’s compositions. Through the years, he has worked with a mixture of styles and has never felt tied to one specific direction. He has always been open to experimentation and in search of new sounds, but never lost his identity as a composer. 
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