Léonie Sonning Talent Prize 2018

David Bendix Nielsen

The cool thing about playing the organ is the sound

David grew up in Hungary with his mother Ilona. They often went to classical concerts, which aroused David’s passion for the organ. He heard a very powerful instrument and asked his mother what it was. It was the organ and David realised that this was what he was going to play. First, however, he had to learn to play the piano and he still does although he plays both the organ and the cembalo. The organ is his primary instrument.

The cool thing about playing the organ is the sound and the numerous possibilities of changing it. No two organs are alike. For example, they are all built especially for the building they are in and the sound is optimised for the specific building, says David.

The organ is the oldest instrument in the world, but still among those which change most of all.

The organ is constantly developed technically in a way unseen in other instruments. This is the most fantastic aspect of the organ: new technical and sound solutions emerge on the market, which may be embodied in the organ; and new electronic solutions make it possible to optimise your style of play.

As an organist, David plays many different organs and must each time adjust his style of play to the special sound of the organ in question. Therefore, the same piece of music sounds different on different organs. This is one of the challenges of playing the instrument.

Also as a cembalist, David plays many different instruments which are made available at concerts etc. It is exciting but may also be a challenge. Therefore, it is David’s fervent wish to have his own cembalo to be able to play an instrument that he is familiar and confident with and which has the desired sound and quality.

David Bendix Nielsen, the cembalo and the organ in brief

Born in 1993 in Faaborg. David has three siblings: little sister Annabeth, who is a choir singer and flute player; older brother Daniel and older sister Solveig, who do not play any instruments. All three siblings have been given music lessons. David’s mother, Ilona, took him to classical concerts from a very young age. The organ was the first instrument that fascinated David, but until he could reach the organ pedals, he played the piano. He graduated from the musical high school in Győr, Hungary, where he studied the organ and the cembalo. In 2012, David was admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Music (church music) and now attends the soloist class with organ.

How David will use the scholarship from the Léonie Sonning Music Foundation

David would like to buy a cembalo to use both for home practising and at concerts; primarily for performing chamber music and ensemble music.