Hilda Sehested

Hilda Sehested. Female Woman Composer.
Hilda Sehested

Hilda Sehested (1858-1936) was a Danish late Romantic-era composer. She is remembered in the clarinet community for her suite, Fynske Billeder (1920), for clarinet, cello, and piano. She also composed an Intermezzo pastorale for clarinet and piano.

Hilda Sehested (1858 – 1936)

Hilda Sehested (27 April 1858–15 April 1936) was a Danish composer.1 She was born in Funen, Denmark, of parents Niels Frederik Bernhard Sehested (1813–82), an archeologist, and Charlotte Christine Linde (1819–94). She studied music with C. F. E. Horneman in Copenhagen and later with Louise Aglaé Massart (1827-1887) in Paris. She studied organ with Ludvig Birkedal-Barfod and composition with Orla Rosenhoff, and began composing at the age of 30.2

Sehested’s mother died in 1894, and she moved to Copenhagen to live with her sister Thyra. She became engaged to archaeologist and museum director Henry Petersen there, but he died before the wedding. Shocked by his death, Sehested took a job as a nurse for a while and then as a church organist, and eventually returned to composing. She died in Copenhagen.3,4

Sehested composed a number of notable works, including two-act opera, Agnete og Havmanden (1914), three Fantasy Pieces for cello and piano that appear on an album of Danish cello works, and, notably for clarinetists, a trio for clarinet, cello, and piano, entitled Fynske Billeder, composed in 1920. The work is in the public domain and both parts and score are available for download, although only a hand-written manuscript is available. Although it has received public performances, it does not appear to have been recorded on any professional albums.

In addition to her cello trio, Sehested also composed an elusive Intermezzo pastorale for clarinet and piano in 1910. Records indicate it received at least one performance in 1910 at a private birthday party. Unfortunately, a completed copy does not seem to have survived, although an incomplete copy is held in the Danish Royal Library.

The above biography has been excerpted from wikipedia, but you can read a more complete biography at the Danish Women’s Biography Lexicon

Clarinet Compositions

Suite: Fynske Billeder | 1920
Clarinet, cello, piano
Unpublished. Held in the Royal Danish Library
Click to view or download manuscript

Intermezzo pastorale | 1910
Clarinet, piano
Incomplete. Held in the Danish Royal Library

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  1. “Hilda Sehested (1858-1936)”Dansk Kvindebiografisk Leksikon. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  2. “Hilda Sehested (1858 – 1936)”. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
  3. “Hilda Sehested (1858 – 1936)”. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
  4. Sadie, Julie Anne; Samuel, Rhian (1994). The Norton/Grove dictionary of women composers (Digitized online by GoogleBooks). Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  5. https://www.kvinfo.dk/side/597/bio/1558/origin/170/
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This page was last updated 3/26/2021

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