Carl August Nielsen (9th June 1865–3rd October 1931) was a conductor, violinist, and the most internationally known composer from Denmark. He is especially admired for his six symphonies. Nielsen was born one of twelve children in Sortelung, not far from the city of Odense. His father was a housepainter and amateur musician. Carl first discovered music by experimenting with the different sounds and pitches he heard when striking the logs in a pile of firewood behind his home. His family was relatively poor, but he was still able to learn the violin and piano as a child.