Past events organised by the Sheffield Centre for Nordic Studies

Front page of programme for the Northern Lights Festival

Northern Lights: a festival of ideas and music (February/March 2013)

Celebrating the establishment of a new Centre for Nordic Studies and the 200th birthday of Søren Kierkegaard.

Sunday 24 February, Firth Hall: Rönsy, a Finnish folk group. Workshop for young and old, 3 pm. Concert, 7.30pm.

Tuesday 26 February, Humanities Research Institute, 7pm: Lecture by Professor Hugh Pyper, 'The Joy of Kierkegaard: a bicentenary appraisal'.

Friday 1 march, St Mark's Church, Broomhill, 1pm: 'Migration Music', Organ recital by Professor Andrew Linn.

Saturday 2 March, Firth Hall, 7.30pm: 'A Celebration of Song', featuring outstanding recent graduates of the University accompanied by the composer, George Nicholson.

Monday 4 March, Humanities Research Institute, 7pm: Lecture by Professor Robert Stern, 'Oh, God said to Abraham, "Kill me a son": Kierkegaard as a divine command theorist'.

Tuesday 5 March, Humanities Research Institute, 7pm: Lecture by Dr Oliver Johnson, 'Physical Fairytale: Finland's Jukola Relay'.

Wednesday 6 March, Firth Hall, 7.30pm: A choral and orchestral concert. WA Mozart: Don Giovanni overture and extracts. Carl Nielsen: Suite Opus 1. Jean Sibelius: 2nd Symphony. The Festival Orchestra, soloists. Conducted by David Ross.

Download the full Northern Lights programme (pdf).

Front page of programme for Nordic Spring festival

Nordic Spring (February/March 2010)

A music festival supported by Norden, the Nordic Cultural Fund, and the Embassy of Denmark.

Sunday 21 February, Firth Hall, 3pm: Jazz with Johan Delin (double-bass) and friends (programme notes).

Wednesday 24 February, Firth Hall, 7.30pm: Signe Asmussen (mezzo-soprano) and Benjamin Frith (piano) give a recital of the best-known Scandinavian songs and piano music including works by Sibelius, Grieg, Nielsen and many less well known composers (full programme).

Thursday 25 February, University Music Department, 1pm: Signe Asmussen gives a masterclass in song for students and members of the public, accompanied by Heidi Rolfe.

Friday 26 February, Drama Studio, 1.10pm: Signe Asmussen and Peter Hill (piano) give a recital of contemporary music including Schoenberg's Book of the Hanging Gardens and Gunnar Berg's 10 Hakusai Woodcuts.

Tuesday 2 March, Sheffield Cathedral, 1.15pm: Andrew Linn (organ) gives a recital of Scandinavian music for organ (programme).

The Ethical Demand in the Philosophies of Løgstrup, Kierkegaard, Levinas

Conference at the Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield, 4-5 December 2010

The conference offered a forum form the discussion of the ideas of Knud Ejler Løgstrup (1905-81). Highly prominent in the intellectual life of his native Demark, Løgstrup’s ideas are becoming increasingly influential, having recently been discussed and to some extent championed by Alastair MacIntyre, Zygmunt Bauman, and others. This was the first conference on his work in the UK, and brought together scholars from Scandinavia and Britain. The focus of the conference was on Løgstrup’s central conception of the ‘ethical demand’ as a basic phenomenological feature of moral experience, which is both particularistic and radically open-ended. This idea has relations to the ideas of Kierkegaard on the one side, and Levinas on the other, while Løgstrup’s outlook differs interestingly from them both.


The programme for the conference included:

  • Svend Andersen (Aarhus): ‘Kiekegaard’s Demand, Transformed by Løgstrup’
  • Svein Aage Christoffersen (Oslo): ‘The Ethical Demand and its Ontological Presuppositions’
  • Peter Dews (Essex): ‘How Can We Reject the Ethical Demand?’
  • Hans Fink (Aarhus): Løgstrup on the difference between ethical and moral demands
  • Wayne Martin (Essex): ‘Infinite Moral Demands and the Danger of Moral Despair’
  • Pia Søltoft (Copenhagen): ‘The Relation Between Erotic Love and Ethics in Kierkegaard, Levinas, and Løgstrup’
  • Robert Stern (Sheffield): ‘Ethical Demands and Divine Commands’

The conference was held conjunction with the Department of Philosophy and the Centre for the History of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield. Contact Robert Stern, Hans Fink or Colin Roth for further information.


A second conference was held in Aarhus, hosted by the scholars of Aarhus University, between 18 and 21 November 2011, with a keynote lecture by Stephen Darwell.

Carl Nielsen: Texts and Contexts, a Conference

29-30 January 2009, University of Manchester

Photographs of participants at the Carl Nielsen Conference

Carl Nielsen: Texts and Contexts' sought to give decisive new impulse to the standing of Denmark's national composer in the international scholarly world and to appraise recent developments in Nielsen scholarship in the light of recent debates in music history, theory and analysis.

Papers were given by leading scholars in the US, UK and Denmark, including Anne-Marie Reynolds (Rochester, New York), 'Nielsen's Folk-like Song and the 'Danish National Tone'; Raymond Knapp (UCLA), 'Nielsen and the Nationalist Trap; or What, Exactly, is Inextinguishable?'; David Fanning (University of Manchester), 'Carl Nielsen and Theories of Symphonism'; Michael Fjeldsøe (University of Copenhagen), 'Carl Nielsen and the Current of Vitalism in Art'; Daniel Grimley (University of Nottingham), 'Carl Nielsen's Symphonic Waves: Energetics, the Sinfonia Espansiva and German Music Theory'; Jack Lawson (Glasgow), 'Absolute or Programme Music in the Sinfonia Semplice'; Colin Roth (University of Sheffield), 'Carl Nielsen and the Danish Tradition of Story-telling'; Tomás Kracmar (University of Manchester), 'Nielsen and Janacek'; Patrick McCreless (Yale), 'The Tragedy of King Saul: The Biblical Account, and Christiansen's and Nielsen's Saul og David'; Douglas Bostock (Aargau Symphony Orchestra, Switzerland), 'Performing Nielsen'; Niels Krabbe (director of the Carl Nielsen Edition, Copenhagen), on the Edition's past and the future of Danish Nielsen scholarship.

The conference was jointly organised by David Fanning, Daniel Grimley and Colin Roth, who will be happy to provide further information or a copy of the paper abstracts on request.


Most of the conference papers were published by The Royal Library, Copenhagen in Carl Nielsen Studies 4 in December 2009 (published in the UK by Ashgate, 978 1 4094 0522 1).