Below you can find answers to some of the questions most frequently asked.


Who were Carl Nielsen's parents?

Carl Nielsen's mother was Maren Kirstine Jørgensen, née Johansen (09.04.1833 - 28.01.1897).

Carl Nielsen's father was Niels Jørgensen (22.01.1835 - 22.11.1915). He was also known by the name Niels Maler (Niels the Painter) because of his profession. However, in time he supported himself to a greater extent as a fiddler.


Maren Kirstine Jørgensen c. 1866
Niels Jørgensen c. 1866












How many brothers and sisters did Carl Nielsen have?

Carl August Nielsen was the 7th child in a family of 12 brothers and sisters: 6 girls and 6 boys.  

Jørgine Caroline (23.11.1854 - 1879)

Mathilde Sophie (born 12.06.1856)

Karen Marie (29.10.1857 - 8.2.1876)

Jørgen Peter (born 07.10.1859) emigrated to Australia

Johan Sophus (19.01.1861 - 1942) emigrated to USA

Christian Albert (born 18.03.1863) emigrated to USA

Carl August (09.06.1865 - 03.10.1931)

Anders Jacob (born 14.05.1867) emigrated to USA

Helene Christine Lovise (born 11.05.1869) emigrated to USA

Valdemar Emil (03.02.1871 - 1965)

Julie Christine (born 21.12.1872), married Andersen, emigrated to USA twice

Anna Dusine (08.01.1875 - 02.04.1875)  


How many children did Carl Nielsen have?

Carl Nielsen had three children by his wife, the sculptor Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen, née Brodersen:

Irmelin Johanne Eggert (09.12.1891 - 09.09.1974), married 1919 to Dr. Eggert Møller.

Anne Marie Frederikke, known as Søs (04.03.1893 - 17.04.1983), married 1918 to the Hungarian violinist Emil Telmányi. Separated 1936.

Hans Børge Nielsen (05.09.1895 - 1956). 

None of these had children.


The Carl Nielsen family photographed in J.F. Willumsen's studio in Hellerup, 1896


The Carl Nielsen family in the courtyard in front of the Fuglsang estate on Lolland, c. 1915


Shortly before Carl Nielsen met his wife Anne Marie, he had a son with the maid Karen Marie Hansen (04.09.1865 - 17.03.1949): Carl August Hansen (08.01.1888 - 04.01.1963). Mother and son emigrated in December 1901 to New York, where Carl August qualified to be a pharmacist. From 1913 to 1915 he was - against his father's will - back in Copenhagen to train as a violinist at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. However, he interrupted his studies since he didn't possess the necessary talent. Having worked as a restaurant musician in the Skaw for some years, Carl August Hansen returned to USA in June 1921, where he finally put his violin away and instead resumed his career as pharmacist. He had three children by two different wives and there are living descendants of these. You can find more information about Carl Nielsen's various descendants in John Fellow’s book, Vil Herren ikke hilse på sin Slægt (Multivers, Copenhagen, 2005).

It is rumoured that Carl Nielsen also had other children born outside wedlock. However, recent research seems to show that these stories are difficult to verify.


How did Carl Nielsen die?

At the end of September 1931 Carl Nielsen attended some rehearsals of Masquerade (Maskarade), which was in the process of being restaged for the third time at the Royal Theatre. At one point something stuck in the ropes behind the stage, and in a fit of playfulness the ageing composer hurried to the rescue and, using only the strength of his arms, he climbed up in the rope and solved the problem.

Unfortunately, this physical exercise was too much for his fragile heart. On 1st October he was taken to the National Hospital where he died at ten minutes past midnight on October 3rd 1931 after a series of heart attacks.

Carl Nielsen lying in state before the funeral in Frue Kirke, October 9 1931


Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen's death mask of Carl Nielsen, 1931. Photo: Niels Ulrich Hansen. Copyright: Odense City Museums










Where is Carl Nielsen buried?

Carl Nielsen was buried at Vestre cemetery in Copenhagen on October 9 1931. He shares this burial plot with his wife, Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen, and two of the children: their son, Hans Børge, and their daughter, Anne Marie Telmányi.

The burial plot at Vestre Kirkegård. Photo: Niels Ulrich Hansen. Copyright: Odense City Museums


Why does Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen take up so much space at The Carl Nielsen Museum?

The museum is built up largely through bequests to Odense Council from Carl Nielsen's and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen's daughters, Irmelin Eggert Møller and Anne Marie Telmányi. The bequests were made on condition that a museum should be established for both their parents.

The museum owns the biggest single collection of Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen's works, from sketches on paper and in wax to finished sculptures in bronze. Compared to Carl Nielsen's music, which can be a challenge to exhibit, Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen's art is more tangible and therefore easier to present at an exhibition. Bearing in mind her importance to Danish art, it seems natural to accord her an equal place.


Where can you buy Min fynske Barndom (My Childhood) on VHS or DVD?

Carl Nielsen's childhood memories were produced in a film version in 1994. Erik Clausen directed actors such as Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Stina Ekblad, Frits Helmuth and Leif Sylvester. Unfortunately, the movie has been taken of the catalogue, and is therefore no longer in stock.



Odense City Museums
Overgade 48
DK-5000 Odense C
Tel +45 6551 4601
CVR: 39156040
EAN: 5790002433825


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