Danish composer Ib Nørholm was born in Søborg on 24 January 1931. He played the piano from the age of nine and the organ from thirteen. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with Vagn Holmboe, Finn Høffding, Niels Viggo Bentzon and Bjørn Hjelmborg, writing music which can be categorised into roughly four periods: Nordic lyrical, serialism/graphic music, 'the new simplicity' and 'integrated bitonality'.
He wrote the operas The Young Park and Invitation to a Beheading, a violin concerto, a cello concerto, plus choral music, chamber music, songs and solo instrumental music. He is also well-known for his thirteen symphonies and his Idylles d'Apocalypse for his own instrument, the organ, and orchestra, as one of the greatest twentieth century Danish composers for orchestra.
He won the 1964 Gaudeamus International Composers Award and the 1971 Carl Nielsen Prize. From 1973 until 1978 he was head of the Danish ISCM Committee.
Teaching at the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in Odense from 1965, and as a professor and head of the composing course at the Royal Danish Academy of Music from 1981 until his retirement in 2000, he taught several generations of Danish composers.
Ib Nørholm died on 10 June 2019, aged eighty-eight.