Grieg for young and old alike.


This year it is 100 years since Edward Grieg died. Hordaland County Concerts would like to mark this occassion by holding a pre Christmas Celebration Concert at the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh.

Edward Grieg's name is known throughout the world and to many he is a symbol of Norway and Norwegian music. The Piano Concerto in A Minor is one of the three most frequently performed piano concertos in concert halls around the world, and a number of other Grieg compositions are also frequently featured in concert programmes both at home and abroad.

In his own time Grieg was a pioneer. In ground breaking fashion he fused Norwegian tradition with the prevailing European currents of the day. Although he grew up in Bergen, and lived there for most of his life, it was in the county of Hordaland that he encountered the culture of the countryside and it's traditional music.

The concert at the Canonsgate Kirk will include musicians from different countries and backgrounds and their personal encounters with Grieg's music are very different. This makes sense when you consider that they hail from such different places as Hardanger of Hordaland, Knivsta near Uppsala in Sweden and Nairobi in Kenya. These varying starting points provide interesting perspectives and ways to deal with Grieg and his music-approaches that can both suprise the listener and get them to see things that they previously did not notice.

The musicians are:

GEIR BOTNEN comes from Nordheimsund in Hardanger (Norway) and studied piano with professor Jiri Hlinka at the Bergen Conservatory of Music. His official debut concert was held in Oslo in 1988. At that time Mr Botnen was already an established pianist with a number of concerts as a soloist in Norway and abroad. Geir Botnen has specialized on Geirr Tveitt's piano music (an other composer from Hordaland) and has recorded a lot of it. Other than that his repertoire ranges from late baroque to contemporary music. Geir Botnen's pianistic pursuits are varied and include tours, participation at festivals, CD recordings etc. In addition to his soloist work, Mr Botnen also plays chamber music and is a coveted accompanist.
KRISTINA EBBERSTEN is a major violin talent from Knivsta near Uppsala in Sweden. At the age of seventeen she started her studies at the College of Music in Stockholm and graduated with a soloist diploma in 1999. She studied further in Canada and with Levon Chilingrian in London. Ms Ebbersten has been a soloist with the Swedish Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Stockholm's Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Royal College of Music's Symphony Orchestra etc., and has chamber music concert experience from Sweden, Norway, Canada, and Israel. Ms. Ebbersten is the recipient of several prizes and scholarships, including a Hugo Alfvén prize and a Royal Academy's scholarship to go abroad.

RHODA ACHIENG ONDENG was born and raised in Kenya. After receiving a bachelor's degree in literature from University of Nairobi, she studied at University of Oregon, USA where she received a master's degree in music. Later she graduated with a master's in music pedagogy from the Bergen University College. Ms Ondeng has studied further with famous vocal instructors in New York, London, and Copenhagen. She has done very well in several international singing contests and a few years ago received Rikskonsertene's debut support. After an extended stay in Addis Abeba, she returned to Bergen in the summer of 1998. Ms Ondeng frequently tours at home and abroad.

Hordaland County Concerts hope and believe that this concert will be exciting and rich with experiences for the young who get their first encounters with some of the music of the programme and for those who already cherish songs and compositions of this great composer.

Time: 8pm
Place: Canongate Kirk, Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Entrance: £5.00

This is a concert for the whole family, although children should not be younger than 9 years old.

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Musicians from Hordaland County Concerts: L to R Kristina Ebbersten, violinist: Rhoda Achieng Ondeng, vocalist: Geir Botnen, pianist.

Edward Grieg was Norway's most famous composer, but did you know his ancestors were Scottish?

Click here to visit the official Grieg 07 site

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