Lassen, Eduard



Danish composer; born in Copenhagen, but taken to Brussels when only two years old. When twelve he entered the Conservatory there, and  won many prizes, the most important being the Grand Prize of Rome, in 1851. This prize enabled him to travel, and he made a long tour through Germany and Italy. It was with the aid of Liszt that his five-act opera, Landgraf Ludwig's Brautfahrt, was produced in Weimar in 1857. This success procured for him the next year the position of Court musical director to the Grand Duke. Upon the retirement of Liszt, in 1861, he succeeded him as conductor of the Opera, which post he held until 1895, when he retired. An event which showed his daring was the production of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde, in 1874, when no other theatre than Munich had done so. In 1881 he was decorated with the Order of Leopold. Of his compositions, those showing the most merit are the operas, Frauenlob and Le Captif; two symphonies; music to Sophocles' CEdipus, to Hebbel's Nibelungen, and Goethe's Faust. He also composed a large number of songs.