June 15, 1843
Bergen in Norway
September 4, 1907 in Bergen
Also Known As:
One of the greatest and most prominent Norwegian composers; his full name was Edvard Hagerup Grieg. He was a teacher, conductor and founder of "Musicforeningen," a concert society in Norway. He is also referred to as "The Chopin of the North." He influenced other composers such as Maurice Ravel and Bela Bartok.
Type of Compositions:
He wrote piano pieces, orchestral and incidental music, plays, songs, sonatas and suites such as those for Ibsen's Peer Gynt. He also set to music several works of the writer/poet Bjornstjerne Bjornson.
Grieg was very much influenced by Norwegian folk songs and dances. He took piano lessons when he was 6 and was already composing by the age of 12. He studied music theory, piano and composition at the Leipzig Conservatory from 1858 to 1862. He was also influenced by composer Otto Winter-Hjelm and Ludvig Mathias Lindeman; both wrote folk music.
His most popular work is his "Piano Concerto in A minor;" other works include the incidental music to "Peer Gynt," "Sonata for Violin and Piano in C Minor," "First Violin Sonata in F Major," "Ballad in G minor" (for piano and string quartet), "The Mountain Thrall," "Norwegian Dances" (piano duet), "Ich liebe Dich" and the "Holberg Suite."
The villa Grieg had built in 1884 called "Troldhaugen" is now a museum where tourists flock to immerse themselves in Grieg's works. Grieg received honorary doctorates from several academic institutions including Oxford and University of Cambridge. On his trip to Italy in 1869, Grieg met the composer Franz Liszt and their meeting further fueled Grieg's desire to compose. In 1874 he received an artists' grant. He later went on concert tours to Europe. In 1867, Grieg married Nina Hagerup, his cousin who was a concert singer. They had a daughter who died when she was 13 months old.
Listen to "Morning Mood" from Edvard Grieg's "Peer Gynt."