Edvard Grieg

1843- 1907

Edvard Grieg was born in Bergen, Norway on June 15, 1843.  Grieg lived in the Romantic Period and is the most famous Norwegian composer. He lived at a time when Norway was trying to become an independent country and he worked to write nationalistic music that inspired people to want an independent Norway.  Because of this he is considered a hero in Norway.

Childhood

Edvard's first music lessons were with his mother who was a very good pianist. He began writing music at the age of nine. When he was 15 he went to study in the Leipzig Conservatory (music school) in Germany. He graduated four years later having studied piano and composition.

Musical Career

Grieg spent the next few years in Copenhagen in Denmark. While he was there he met with Danish composers and he also met  Rikard Nordraak a Norwegian composer who had composed the Norwegian national anthem. Nordraak taught Grieg how wonderful Norwegian folk music was and had a big influence on him.

While he was in Copenhagen he also met and married his cousin Nina, who was a singer.  They later had one daughter who died before she was two years old. After her death the Griegs returned to Norway where they lived in a villa they built and named Troldhaugen  

which means "Hill of the Mountain Men". 

Music

Grieg was often inspired by Norwegian folk music. This can be heard in his songs and some of his instrumental music. But Grieg's most famous pieces are his Piano Concerto in A minor, and the music that he wrote for the play "Peer Gynt". The play is very long and the music Grieg wrote is an hour and a half long. He took the best pieces from the play and arranged them into two suites. The Peer Gynt Suite has many famous melodies, including one that's even used in Minecraft!

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