Edvard Hagerup Grieg

On October 28, 2014, we will have the pleasure of listening to Janina Fialkowska perform for us. Six Lyric Pieces from Grieg are on the program for the evening.

Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born in 1843 in Bergen, Norway. He was a composer and pianist. His father, Alexander, was a merchant and his mother, Gesine Judithe Hagerup, a music teacher. His mother’s father was Edvard Hagerup, a lawyer and politician, and obviously the origin of Grieg’s name. He started piano lessons with this mother at the age of six. During the summer of 1858, Grieg met Ole Bull, a well known Norwegian violinist. Bull could see the talent in the teenage Grieg and convinced his parents to send him to Leipzig Conservatory for further training. Like many musicians before and after him, he didn’t enjoy the discipline and structure of school study but he did finish his studies at Leipzig in 1862.

He married Nina Hagerup (his first cousin) in 1867. She was a soprano and they often performed together to great acclaim. Their only child, Alexandra, was born in 1868 but only lived until 1869, dying from meningitis. Outside of this sad moment, his life was surrounded by music. Grieg gave concerts, met and worked with many fellow musicians over the years, and composed amazing music. It seems like an ideal way to live life for a musician!

Grieg had survived pleurisy and tuberculosis in 1860, leaving him with a deformed spine and one defunct lung. He had many respiratory issues throughout his life, ultimately resulting in his death from heart and lung failure after a long illness in 1907.

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