Friedrich Daniel Rudolf Kuhlau

Born 11 september 1786 in Germany. Friedrich Kuhlau was known as a composer and concert pianist.  He started studying the piano in Hamburg  where he also made his debut as a pianist in 1804.

In 1813 Friedrich Kuhlau became a Danish citizen after he fled to avoid conscription in the Napoleonic Army.  One year later he had his breakthrough with a singspiel called “The Robbers’ Castle” (Danish: Røverborgen) at the Roayal Danish Theatre.

Kuhlau had his success in 1828 when he wrote the music (Op. 100)  for ‘Elves Hill’ (Danish: Elverhøj) which was written for the wedding of Frederik Carl Christian (Later the king of Denmark Frederick VII). The music is considered the first Danish national play.

Kuhlau also wrote music for performances of William Shakespear’s plays aswell as other dramatic works like Elisa (1820), Trylleharpen (1817).

Besides his dramatic works Friedrich Kuhlau also wrote compositions for piano and the flute. His sonatinas for the piano were very popular in Denmark.
Friedrich Kuhlau died 12 march 1832 at the age of 46.

Friedrich Kuhlau facts

  • Kuhlau knew Beethoven personally
  • In 1810 he immigrated from Hamburg to Copenhagen

Friedrich Kuhlau resources

Friedrich Kuhlau Sheet music on

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