Born in 1932 in Gentofte, Denmark Per Nørgård studied with Vagn Holmboe at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, and subsequently with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. He won Nordic Council Music Prize (1974) for his opera Gilgamesh, the Léonie Sonning Music Prize (1996; Denmark) and became a Professor of music at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus in 1965.
Symphony No. 8 is written for orchestra and was commissioned by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. It had its UK premiere on the 9 March 2013 at the Barbican, London. Perfomed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, John Storgårds, conductor.