Niels W. Gade (1817-1890) was a Danish composer and one of the most significant representatives of Danish national music of the nineteenth century. The son of a carpenter, he became a violinist at the Danish court and studied with C.E.F. Weyse and A.P. Berggreen. His first composition, the overture "Nachklänge von Ossian" won first prize from the Copenhagen Musikverein. Thanks to a royal stipend, he studied in Leipzig, where he developed close contact with Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. He conducted several Gewandhaus concerts at Mendelssohn's side, including performances of Gade's first and second symphonies. In 1847 he became Mendelssohn's successor as conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra. After the outbreak of the German-Danish war of 1848 Gade returned to Copenhagen, where he directed the Copenhagen Musikverein and later became Court conductor. In 1866 he became the director of the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music.