Edvard Hagerup Grieg (15 June 1843 – 4 September 1907) was a Norwegian composer and pianist. 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.
Grieg's later life brought him fame but not wealth. He was eventually awarded a government pension from Norway. Edvard Grieg died in the autumn of 1907, aged 64, after a long period of illness. The funeral drew thousands out on the streets of his hometown to honor the artist. His and his wife's ashes are entombed in a mountain crypt near his house, Troldhaugen
Grieg found his own niche as something much more than just a miniaturist, conjuring up a melodic and harmonic invention seen in its time as being scarcely rivals. Here was a counterbalance to the weight of the Austro-German symphony, the folk idioms of Norway being deployed in subtly shifting forms to make quite new sounds.
Grieg was a diversified composer, and produced chamber music, violin, cello and piano sonatas, symphonic works, but the majority of his compositions were for vocal and choral performances, in which his highly talented wife was frequently featured. He was regarded as the pre-eminent vocal composer of his time.
During the summer of 1868, Grieg penned his famous Piano Concerto in A minor. Its premiered occurred in April of the following year in Copenhagen. The piece has remained one of his most well-known compositions
Grieg had a musical upbringing, being taught the piano by his mother at the age of six. In 1858 he was enrolled at the Leipzig Conservatory, where he studied the piano, and made his debut as a concert pianist in 1861 in Karlshamm, Sweden. After his graduation from the conservatory, he spent three years in Copenhagen (1863–1866), before returning to Christiana [now Oslo] in Norway.
Grieg's greatest gift was his lyricism. His music encompasses a wide range of emotional expression and deeply-nuanced atmospheric effects. He was also in many respects a musical pioneer. He used dissonance and fragmentation to great effect, particularly in the Norwegian Peasant Dances of 1902–1903, arranged for piano. His impressionistic uses of harmony and piano sonority, in his late songs particularly, are highly original and uniquely his own
In many circles where "serious" music is appreciated, Grieg has unfortunately been dismissed as dated -- a writer of classical pop and not much more. This ignores both his lesser-heard, more difficult works, not to mention the undeniable charm in his more well-known pieces
Edvard Grieg's music is uniquely Norwegian. Not only did he use traditional melodies from his native country, he created new ones in the same style and promoted Norwegian nationalism and identity through his concert tours. He loved the traditions of his homeland so much that he was one of the main establishers of the entire style and flavor of Scandinavian music.
During his lifetime [Grieg] was a celebrated composer who met with such luminaries as Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Ibsen. He is also credited with inspiring Debussy and Ravel. Grieg was so popular in his day that his funeral was a national, even international, affair, which drew political and musical royalty to pay their respects.
Edvard Grieg (1843 – 1907) was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor and Peer Gynt (which includes Morning Mood and In the Hall of the Mountain King). Edvard Grieg is to Norway what George Washington is to America and William Shakespeare to England: his country's most celebrated human icon.