Hanson, Haldor Johan (1856-1929) | Nordic

Name: Hanson, Haldor Johan (1856-1929)

Historical Note:

Haldor Johan Hanson was born in Fuse, Norway on June 24, 1856. He immigrated to the United States in 1865, where he enrolled at Luther College, graduating in 1883. As a student, organized the Luther College choirs. He went on to study at the Chicago Conservatory (1883-1884) before taking up a teaching career, first at Wilmar Seminary (1885-1887), then Luther College (1888-1890). He helped establish the Decorah School of Music in 1889, serving as president. Hanson also organized the Decorah Choral Union in 1889. He then went to study music in Weimar, Germany from 1891-1892.

Hanson returned to Luther in 1894, where he was appointed the first professor of music and put in charge of the college bands. He established the Luther College Musical Union in 1895, representating all the student musical activities including band, choir, orchestra, and glee. Hanson was appointed Curator of the Luther College Museum in October 1895, a position he held until 1902 when he was succeeded by Knut Gjerset. Hanson resigned from Luther College in 1904, moving to Chicago, where he worked as a music dealer and in publishing.

Hanson died on December 14, 1929. His library of Norwegian-Americana was donated to Luther College after his death and is now known as the Haldor Hanson Collection.