Gade, Jacob

Jacob Gade, born on November 29, 1879, in Denmark, was a highly talented violinist and composer known for his contributions to symphonic popular music. His most renowned piece, "Jalousie," also known as "Tango Jalousie," catapulted him to international fame.

Early Life and Musical Aspirations

Jacob Gade's passion for music ignited at a young age. He dreamed of becoming an orchestra director and composing waltzes, believing them to be the epitome of musical brilliance. However, his journey was not without obstacles. Gade faced financial hardships, leading him to spend nights sleeping in the hallways near staircases and entrances of buildings.

The Breakthrough: A Toast Song and First Love

Gade's fortunes began to change when he composed a toast song called "Der er sollys I made druer" (There is sunlight in ripe grapes) in 1900. The song quickly gained popularity, with young stage actress Elna From, who would become Gade's first love, performing it. Despite never marrying, Gade and From had three children together. Unfortunately, their relationship ended in 1906.

Marriage and Full-time Composition

In 1908, Gade married Mimi Mikkelsen in Christiania, the capital of Norway. Mikkelsen became a pillar of support for Gade, allowing him to dedicate himself fully to composing. Gade's compositions began to garner recognition and financial success, enabling him to pursue his musical aspirations without limitations.

Tango Jalousie: The Iconic Piece

The pinnacle of Gade's career came with the creation of "Tango Jalousie," a piece that would become his most famous composition. The tango-infused melody captured the hearts of audiences worldwide with its evocative and passionate tones. Released in 1925, "Tango Jalousie" soared to great heights and continues to be an enduring symbol of Gade's talent.

Collaboration with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops

In 1935, Arthur Fiedler, renowned conductor of the Boston Pops, recorded "Tango Jalousie," further amplifying Gade's success. The recording propelled Gade's earnings to new heights, allowing him to support a charity dedicated to nurturing young musicians. Gade traveled to Boston to personally express his gratitude to Fiedler, who shared an interesting anecdote about their encounter.

"Gade handed me a symphony score, which I must say was one of the worst pieces of music I have looked at," Fiedler recalled in an interview.

Symphony Composer Woes

While Gade's popularity soared with "Tango Jalousie," his endeavors as a symphony composer faced challenges. Gade's compositions in this genre failed to resonate with audiences and critics alike. Despite his success in other areas, Gade struggled to make a mark in the symphony world.

Legacy and Impact

Jacob Gade's contributions to music continue to reverberate long after his passing. His compositions, particularly "Tango Jalousie," remain beloved and frequently performed. The profits from his iconic piece continue to support young musicians, ensuring the preservation of Gade's musical legacy.


Jacob Gade's life and music exemplify the power of perseverance and dedication to one's craft. Despite facing numerous challenges, Gade's talent and determination propelled him to prominence. Through his compositions, he left an indelible mark on the world of symphonic popular music. Jacob Gade's story serves as an inspiration to aspiring musicians, reminding them to never give up on their dreams, no matter the obstacles they may encounter.

Violin Compositions of Jacob Gade | Animato Strings


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