Grieg (1843 - 1907) was a Norwegian nationalist and romantic composer. Grieg's music is often
inspired by the folk music of Norway, and has a unique evocative character.
was born in Bergen, Norway, of a Scottish
father and Norwegian mother. He was inspired by the Norwegian violinist Ole Bull
to join the Norwegian nationalist movement, after a solid European musical
training at the Leipzig Conservatory in Germany.
There he heard Clara Schumann play Robert Schumann's
fantastic A minor Piano Concerto.
Back in Norway, Grieg became
increasingly involved in the nationalist movement, and he was an avid collector
of Norwegian folk music. The style and evocative quality of these melodies is
brought out in Grieg's own piano concerto, as well as the inspiration he
received from Schumann's concerto. The sublime beauty of Grieg's piano concerto,
combined with its impressively dramatic opening passage on the piano, has
ensured that this is close to the top of the list of the most well-loved piano
concertos of all time.
Grieg also wrote many songs, the Incidental Music to Peer
Gynt, a wonderful set of Lyric Pieces for the piano, and the Holberg
Suite, which uses forms and elements of style from the baroque