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Edvard Hagerup Grieg (15 June 1843 – 4 September 1907) was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is widely considered one of the main Romantic era composers, and his music is part of the standard classical repertoire worldwide. His use and development of Norwegian folk music in his own compositions brought the music of Norway to international consciousness, as well as helping to develop a national identity, much as Jean Sibelius did in Finland.

Edvard Grieg was raised in a musical family. His mother was his first piano teacher and taught him to play at the age of six. Grieg studied in several schools, including Tanks Upper Secondary School.

During the summer of 1858, Grieg met the eminent Norwegian violinist Ole Bull, who was a family friend; Bull's brother was married to Grieg's aunt. Bull recognized the 15-year-old boy's talent and persuaded his parents to send him to the Leipzig Conservatory, the piano department of which was directed by Ignaz Moscheles.

Grieg enrolled in the conservatory, concentrating on piano, and enjoyed the many concerts and recitals given in Leipzig. He disliked the discipline of the conservatory course of study. An exception was the organ, which was mandatory for piano students. About his study in the conservatory, he wrote to his biographer, Aimar Grønvold, in 1881: "I must admit, unlike Svendsen, that I left Leipzig Conservatory just as stupid as I entered it. Naturally, I did learn something there, but my individuality was still a closed book to me."

During 1861, Grieg made his debut as a concert pianist in Karlshamn, Sweden. In 1862, he finished his studies in Leipzig and had his first concert in his home town, where his programme included Beethoven's Pathétique sonata.

In 1863, Grieg went to Copenhagen, Denmark, and stayed there for three years. He met the Danish composers J. P. E. Hartmann and Niels Gade. He also met his fellow Norwegian composer Rikard Nordraak (composer of the Norwegian national anthem), who became a good friend and source of inspiration.

On 11 June 1867, Grieg married his first cousin, Nina Hagerup (1845–1935), a lyric soprano.

During 1868, Franz Liszt, who had not yet met Grieg, wrote a testimonial for him to the Norwegian Ministry of Education, which resulted in Grieg's obtaining a travel grant. The two men met in Rome in 1870. Liszt's rendition greatly impressed his audience, although Grieg said gently to him that he played the first movement too quickly. Liszt also gave Grieg some advice on orchestration 

In the 1870's he became friends with the poet Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson who shared his interests in Norwegian self-government. Grieg set several of his poems to music, including Landkjenning and Sigurd Jorsalfar. Eventually they decided on an opera based on King Olav Trygvason, but a dispute as to whether music or lyrics should be created first, led to Grieg being diverted to working on incidental music for Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt, which naturally offended Bjørnson. Eventually their friendship was resumed.

The incidental music composed for Peer Gynt at the request of the author, contributed to its success, and has separately become some of the composer's most familiar music arranged as orchestral Suites.

Grieg had close ties with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Harmonien), and later became Music Director of the orchestra from 1880 to 1882. In 1888, Grieg met Tchaikovsky in Leipzig. Grieg was impressed by Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky thought very highly of Grieg's music, praising its beauty, originality and warmth.

On 6 December 1897, Grieg and his wife performed some of his music at a private concert at Windsor Castle for Queen Victoria and her court.

Grieg was awarded two honorary doctorates, first by the University of Cambridge in 1894 and the next from the University of Oxford in 1906. The Norwegian government provided Grieg with a pension as he reached retirement age. During the spring of 1903, Grieg made nine 78-rpm gramophone recordings of his piano music in Paris.

In 1899, Grieg cancelled his concerts in France in protest of the Dreyfus affair, an antisemitic scandal that was then roiling French politics. Regarding this scandal, Grieg had written that he hoped that the French might, "Soon return to the spirit of 1789, when the French republic declared that it would defend basic human rights." As a result of his statements concerning the affair, he became the target of much French hate mail of that day.

During 1906, he met the composer and pianist Percy Grainger in London. Grainger was a great admirer of Grieg's music and a strong empathy was quickly established. In a 1907 interview, Grieg stated: "I have written Norwegian Peasant Dances that no one in my country can play, and here comes this Australian who plays them as they ought to be played! He is a genius that we Scandinavians cannot do other than love." Edvard Grieg died at the Municipal Hospital in Bergen, Norway, on 4 September 1907 at age 64 from heart failure. He had suffered a long period of illness. His last words were "Well, if it must be so." Grieg was cremated in the first Norwegian crematorium opened in Bergen just that year, and his ashes were entombed in a mountain crypt near his house, Troldhaugen. After the death of his wife, her ashes were placed alongside his.

Grieg composed the incidental music for Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt, which includes the excerpts "In the Hall of the Mountain King" and "Morning Mood". In an 1874 letter to his friend Frants Beyer, Grieg expressed his unhappiness with "Dance of the Mountain King's Daughter", one of the movements in the Peer Gynt incidental music, writing "I have also written something for the scene in the hall of the mountain King – something that I literally can't bear listening to because it absolutely reeks of cow-pies, exaggerated Norwegian nationalism, and trollish self-satisfaction! But I have a hunch that the irony will be discernible."

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