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H.R.H. Prince Henrik (1934–2018)

I woke up this morning to the very sad news that His Royal Highness Prince Henrik (The Prince consort of Denmark) has passed away. It brings forth many memories – all of them good. I knew H.R.H. Prince Henrik as a vibrant, colourful, warm person, with much humour, but also a nuanced and reflective human.

I had the honor and pleasure of working in-depth with Prince Henrik’s poems, first of all several of the poems from his poetry collection ‘Cantabile’, based on which I composed my symphonic suite ‘Cantabile’. The symphonic suite was premiered in 2004 and 2009, by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra at concerts celebrating Prince Henrik’s 70th and 75th birthdays, respectively.

It was a project that lasted for more than six years, and during that time I was able to dig deeply into the many layers of his poems, not least due to the many creative meetings we had together. That process gave me even greater respect for Prince Henrik’s genuine talent as a poet, and his equally great understanding of music. He was a musical person in the truest sense of the word.

May he rest in peace.

Prince Henrik and Frederik Magle

Together with Prince Henrik in my studio during the work on Cantabile in 2005.


Excerpt from “Nuit Mélodique” from 2016 (with text from H.R.H. Prince Henrik’s poem of the same title), performed by the soprano Yosra Zekri with The Danish National Chamber Orchestra (conductor: Eric Sprogis)

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