Edvard Hagerup Grieg (born June 15, 1843, in Bergen and died on September 4, 1907 in the same city ) is a Norwegian composer and pianist of the Romantic period. His discovery in 1863 of Norwegian folklore and his peasant dances will make his life an inexhaustible militant of a national musical art. A great harmonist (who will not be indifferent Claude Debussy or Maurice Ravel), master of the small form (pieces for piano), he will compose his most famous works in the orchestral field like the Piano Concerto in A minor, and Peer Gynt, composed stage music for the drama of Henrik Ibsen.
Son of Alexander Grieg, British Consul in Bergen, and Gesine Grieg, Edvard Hagerup Grieg is of Scottish descent by his father. He is raised in a family of musicians; his mother, pianist, his first piano teacher gave him his first lessons when he was five and introduced him to classics and romantics, Carl Maria von Weber, Frederic Chopin and Felix Mendelssohn mainly. He begins to compose around the age of nine.
During the summer of 1858, Grieg met the legendary Norwegian violinist Ole Bull, who was a friend of the family and incidentally his mother's brother-in-law. Bull notices the good arrangements for the music of the fifteen-year-old, and persuades his parents to send him to the Leipzig Conservatory to develop his talents. Ole Bull shakes the teenager and says: "You go to Leipzig to become an artist! ". From autumn 1858, Grieg followed the teaching of the greatest masters at the conservatory, such as Carl Reinecke, Ernst Ferdinand Wenzel and Ignaz Moscheles, his long-time friend. He heard many great works, such as Schumann's Piano Concerto, performed by Clara Schumann.
His years of conservatory do not leave him very good memories because he finds the teaching devoid of interest. In addition, he suffers from pleurisy and suffers all his life from respiratory disorders. Despite this, four years later, he left the institution with solid knowledge as an instrumentalist and composer. He gave his first concert in 1862, in his hometown of Bergen.