Karin Hjorth-Hansen

We have asked our teachers to recommend a place, some Danish music or a Danish artist. This is what Karin recommends.

Who is your favourite Danish composer?
”Before I became a language teacher, I had a career as a classical singer. Because of that, I remain very interested in classical music.
My favourite Danish composer is Carl Nielsen. Even though he lived more than 100 years ago, his music is still relevant and exciting. Something that is characteristic of Carl Nielsen’s music is its different moods. Light, lyrical, arch, serious and fierce. Another interesting aspect to Carl Nielsen is the fact that he composed complicated and innovative symphonic pieces as well as simple folksy songs. Having written more than 250 songs, Carl Nielsen has had a big influence on what we call ‘den danske sangskat’ – Denmark’s national treasury of beloved songs. You can find several of his songs in the songbook ‘Højskolesangbogens Melodibog’ and you can also hear them on YouTube, for instance sung by the Danish National Girls’ Choir and different solo singers.

Do you have a favourite place in Copenhagen?
”I am also fond of other musical genres and I like to explore small hidden venues in Copenhagen. Two places I would recommend are Hvide Lam on Kultorvet and Cafe Intime on Frederiksberg. Both places are what we call ’brune værtshuse’ (’brown pubs’) – old, historic bars with lots of beer and an authentic and relaxed atmosphere.
Hvide Lam was founded in 1807 and is one of Copenhagen’s oldest bars. Every night you can hear live jazz music in its small and cosy rooms. This is a place where you can hear new as well as established names from the Danish jazz scene – for free.
Cafe Intime opened in the 1920's and was inspired by life in Montmartre. It is a place that is full of hygge with soft lighting, candles on the tables and a piano in the corner. Every night, there is live music. Sometimes, its Cafe Intime’s regular musicians and singers who perform, as is the case every Sunday, which is jazz night. Other evenings are song evenings, and anyone can get up and sing a ditty – it can be a lied, a piece from an opera or an operetta, a song from a popular revue, a folk song or some pop or jazz. A unique place with a wonderful atmosphere.”