Edvard Grieg

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Edvard Hagerup Grieg (15 June 1843 – 4 September 1907) was a Norwegian composer and pianist who composed in the Romantic period. He is best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor, for his incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt (which includes Morning Mood and In the Hall of the Mountain King), and for his collection of piano miniatures Lyric Pieces. [1]

Contents

Biography

Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born in Bergen, Norway on 15 June 1843. His parents were Alexander Grieg (1806–1875), a merchant and the American vice consul in Bergen, and Gesine Judithe Hagerup (1814–1875), a music teacher and daughter of Edvard Hagerup. He had very blaze-red hair. The family name, originally spelled Greig, was Scottish. After the Battle of Culloden in 1746, however, Grieg's great-grandfather traveled widely, settling in Norway about 1770, and establishing business interests in Bergen.

Edvard Grieg was raised in a musical home. His mother was his first piano teacher and taught him to play at the age of 6. Grieg studied in several schools, including Tank's School,.[2] He often brought in samples of his music to class.

In the summer of 1858, Grieg met the eminent Norwegian violinist Ole Bull, who was a family friend; Bull's brother was married to Grieg's aunt. Bull recognised the 15-year-old boy's talent and persuaded his parents to send him to the Leipzig Conservatory, then directed by Ignaz Moscheles.

Grieg enrolled in the conservatory, concentrating on the piano, and enjoyed the many concerts and recitals given in Leipzig. He disliked the discipline of the conservatory course of study, but he achieved very good grades in most areas. An exception was the organ, which was mandatory for piano students. In the spring of 1860, he survived a life-threatening lung disease. The following year he made his debut as a concert pianist, in Karlshamn, Sweden. In 1862, he finished his studies in Leipzig and held his first concert in his home town, where his programme included Beethoven's Pathétique sonata. (Grieg's own recording of his Piano Sonata, made late in his life, confirms that he was an excellent pianist).

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