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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 included Morning Mood and In the Hall of the Mountain King), and for his collection of piano miniatures Lyric Pieces.
Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born in Bergen, Norway on 15 June 1843. The originally family name was spelled Greig, originally from Scotland. After the Battle of Culloden in 1746, his great-grandfather traveled widely, settling in Norway around 1770, and establishing business interests in Bergen. Grieg was raised in a musical home. His mother, Gesine B. Hagerup, became his first piano teacher, who taught him to play from the age of 6. He studied in several schools including Tank`s School, and often brought in examples of his music to class.
In the summer of 1858, Grieg met the eminent Norwegian violinist Ole Bull, who was a friend of the family, and whose brother was married to Grieg`s aunt. Bull noticed the 15-year-old boy`s talent and persuaded his parents to send him to further develop his talents at the Leipzig Conservatory, then directed by Ignaz Moscheles.
Grieg enrolled in the conservatory, consentrating on the piano, and enjoyed the numerous concerts and recitals given in Leipzig. He disliked the discipline of the conservatory course to study, yet he still achieved very good grades in most areas, an exception being 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 of Bergen, where his programme included Beethoven`s Pathétique sonata (Grieg`s own recording of his Piano Sonata, made late in his life, shows he was excellent pianist).
In 1863, Grieg went to Copenhagen, Denmark, and stayed there for three years. He met the Danish composers J.P.E. Hartmann and Niels Gade. He also met his fellow Norwegian composer Rikard Nordaark (composer of the Norwegian national anthem) who became a good friend and source of great inspiration. Nordaark died in 1866, and Grieg composed a funeral march in his honor. Grieg had close ties with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Harmonien), and later became Music Director of the orchestra from 1880-1882.
On 11 June 1867, Grieg married his first cousin (a daughter of Edvard Hagerup), Nina Hagerup. The next year, their only child, Alexandra was born. She died in 1896 from meningites. In the summer of 1868, Grieg wrote his Piano Concerto in A minor while on holiday in Denmark. Edmund Neupert gave the concerto its premiere performance on 3 April 1869 in the Casino Theater in Copenhagen. Grieg himself was unable to be there due to conducting commitments in Christiania (as Oslo was then named).
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Edvard Hagerup Grieg
Edvard Hagerup Grieg (15 June 1843 – 4 September 1907) was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is widely considered one of the leading Romantic era composers, and his music is part of the standard classical repertoire worldwide. His use and development of Norwegian folk music in his own compositions brought the music of Norway to international consciousness, as well as helping to develop a national identity, much as Jean Sibelius and Bedřich Smetana did in Finland and Bohemia, respectively.
Gesine Judithe Hagerup
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