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Edvard Grieg

Born in Bergen, Norway as the son of a wealthy merchant and a pianist, he studied piano and composition from 1858 to 1862 at the Leipzig Conservatory. At the time, Edvard Grieg received important impulses at concerts by the famous Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and operatic performances in Leipzig. Impressions of music by Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn would leave a lasting impression on him. The decisive factor, however, for Grieg?s self-discovery as a Norwegian composer was his friendship with Scandinavian artists. When he turned to the musical traditions and folklore of his own country he developed an individual, unmistakable style and quickly enjoyed sizable success. Occasionally called a ?master of miniatures? by musicologists at the beginning of his career, Grieg was soon regarded as a first-rate composer. The reason for this condescending error of judgment was his fondness for lyrical small forms in his oeuvre, with very few large-scale works apart from the famous Piano Concerto. Despite all this criticism, Grieg soon acquired fame as the most significant Scandinavian composer with such works as the incidental music to Ibsen?s ?Peer Gynt? and the ?Holberg? Suite. Until his death in 1907, he was active at home and abroad as a pianist and conductor.