Centre for Grieg Research

IGS International Grieg Conference 2023

The International Edvard Grieg Society, the Grieg Research Centre at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Music and Design University of Bergen, and Kode Art Museums and Composer Homes invite to the International Edvard Grieg Conference 2023 - 'Current Musical Heritage' - 17 – 19 November in Bergen.

Conference title page
Grieg Research Centre, Arnulf Mattes

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Open concerts, lecture recitals, and master class: 

We have the pleasure to invite you all to our free, open events with outstanding performers, composers, and scholars, exploring Grieg's historical performance practice in manifold ways, inspiring and engaging us in conversations on how we listen to and interpret his music today. For the complete program, see attached brochure. 

Friday, 17 November, Bergen Public Library, Mitt Vestland:

12.45 – 14.15 Lecture-recital with Are Sandbakken 
Grieg, Svendsen, and Romantic Performance Practice

Since 2013 Are Sandbakken has been leading a research project on Romantic performance practice at The Norwegian Academy of Music. Based on historical recordings of Joachim, Grieg and Mengelberg he has tried to recreate the old style playing where agogic, rubato, portamento are essential part of the expression. In his presentation Sandbakken has a main focus on the orchestra music by Edvard Grieg and Johan Svendsen.

Are Sandbakken, professor in chamber music at the Norwegian Academy of Music, studied with Leif Jørgensen and Lars Anders Tomter at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. After studies with Sandor Vegh in Salzburg, Sandbakken worked as principal viola player in the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra 1990-1995. 1996-2002 he was the leading the viola section of the Oslo Philharmonic and did perform as a soloist with the orchestra several times. Sandbakken regularly works as chamber orchestra conductor. He is also a founding member of the Oslo String Quartet. 

Saturday, 18 November, Grieg Academy, Gunnar Sævigs sal:

12.15 – 13.30 Lecture-recital with Anton Steck and Christina Kobb 
Grieg’s First Violin Sonata – on a Period Piano and a Gut-strung Violin 

This project began as an experiment: What would happen to Grieg’s violin sonatas if they were to be played on gut strings by a violinist firmly grounded in the baroque and classical repertoire? And would Grieg’s own grand piano, or other period keyboard instruments contribute to our understanding of this music? Anton Steck, professor of baroque violin in Trossingen (Germany) and PhD Christina Kobb, who has specialized in the Viennese piano tradition, explore these questions. 

Anton Steck, professor of baroque violin at the State Academy of Music in Trossingen, is known in international circles as an outstanding soloist for baroque violin. In the field of early music, he is regarded as an interpreter who combines high technical perfection with expressive intensity and passion of performance. After studying the modern violin in Karlsruhe and the baroque violin with Reinhard Goebel in Amsterdam, there followed engagements as concertmaster with Musica Antiqua Köln, the Musiciens des Louvres and, since 2005, Concerto Köln. Despite all these activities as an orchestra leader, his musical focus is on the interpretation of virtuoso violin literature, which he demonstrates both on stage and on numerous award-winning CD recordings. As a soloist, Anton Steck works with various orchestras. In 1996 Anton Steck founded the Schuppanzigh Quartet. In addition to the great Viennese quartet literature, the ensemble is also very much dedicated to the discovery of previously unknown compositions. A series of productions is dedicated to the Bonn composer and friend of Beethoven, Ferdinand Ries, whose spectacular quartet works have remained completely unknown until now. As

Christina Kobb is a Norway-based pianist, holding degrees (Cand. Mag. in piano teaching, BA fortepiano performance) and MA from the Norwegian Academy of Music (NAM), Royal Conservatoire of The Hague (BA, MA (cum laude) of fortepiano performance, with teachers Bart van Oort and Stanley Hoogland) and was honoured to receive a one-year studentship to the renowned Cornell University to study with prof. Malcolm Bilson (2009/10). She has appeared in concerts and conferences in Europe and the US. In 2006, she won the accompanist prize of ‘The John Kerr Award for English song’ at Finchcocks Musical Museum in Kent, England, and in 2008 she received the ‘Muzio Clementi Award’. In 2007, she was awarded the coveted TICON scholarship. Christina is the proud recipient of the Nils Larsen grant 2016, which helps to fund her Carnegie debut recital. In 2013, she co-founded the international open access journal Music & Practice. In 2022, she finished her PhD at the Norwegian Academy of Music  on the topic of 'Piano Playing in Beethoven's Vienna. Reconstructing the Technique, Exploring its Musical Application'.

14.00 – 15.30 Master class with Sigurd Slåttebrekk
Open master class with students of the Grieg academy

Talk with Signe Bakke, professor in piano, Grieg Academy, UiB

Sigurd Slåttebrekk, professor for piano at the Norwegian academy of Music, has achieved international acclaim for his award-winning recordings of Maurice Ravel, Robert Schumann and Edvard Grieg. In 2022, the Gramophone Magazine ranked his 2005 recording of Grieg's Piano Concerto as the best ever recording. Slåttebrekk's particular interest is romantic performance practice, as documented in early recording history. In Slåttebrekk's research project and publication Chasing the Butterfly, he undertook a systematic re-creation of Edvard Grieg's nine recordings from 1903 in a completely new approach to historical performance practice. 

Sophie Pfarrhofer: Butterfly, Op. 43, No. 6
Kateryna Persysta: Notturno, Op. 54, No. 4
Marina Matsuoka: Piano Concerto in A-minor Op. 16, 1st Movement

15.30 – 17.00
Crossing Grieg - A new interpretation of Edvard Grieg's Peasant dances, op. 72
Concert and project presentation with Nils Henrik Asheim and Håkon Asheim
Talk with Dániel Péter Biró, professor in composition, Grieg Academy, UiB

Nils Henrik Asheim, professor for composition and organ at the University of Stavanger, enjoys a combined career as composer and performer. He started out as a composition pupil of Olav Anton Thommessen and made his début at the UNM nordic festival for young composers in Helsinki at the early age of fifteen. In 1978 he was awarded the EBU Rostrum prize for his work Ensemblemusikk for 5. He subsequently went on to study organ and composing at the Norwegian Academy of Music and the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. Nils Henrik is also active as a pianist and curator. He has written several chamber music pieces, works for symphony orchestra, organ and choir, as well as projects in public space and also using theatrical elements. In 2018, he received the Nordic Council Music Price for the work 'Muohta – language of snow'. He also received the Lindemanprisen, Arne Nordheims Komponistpris, Edvard-prisen, Musikkforleggerprisen, Kritikerprisen, and two times Spellemannsprisen.

Håkon Asheim, associate professor and study coordinator at the Ole Bull Academy in Voss, is one of the foremost Norwegian folk musicians on the Hardanger fiddle. He graduated from Oslo University in 1995, with the concert tradition of the Hardanger fiddle as the subject of his master’s thesis and final exam concert. Håkon Asheim is featured on a number of recordings. Kjetil Hvoslef's 'Hardingtrio', recorded for Lawo Classics in 2019, together with Hilde H. Sveen and Einar Røttingen, was nominated for the Spellemannspris. Håkon contributed more than 100 folk music transcriptions to vol. V of the collection of Norwegian fiddle tunes, 'Norsk folkemusikk : Slåtter for vanlig fele', and together with Gunnar Stubseid he published the book 'Ole Bull og folkemusikken' in 2010. 

Conference venues:

  • Bergen Public Library (FRIDAY)
  • Grieg Academy (Faculty of Fine art, music, and design, University of Bergen) (SATURDAY) 
    NB! Main entrance Lars Hilles gate is closed. Use entrance from Nina Grieg’s gate 6.
  • Troldhaugen (Kode Art Museums and Composer Homes) (SUNDAY)

Map Bergen centre with conference venues and hotel
Arnulf Mattes/google maps


  • The International Edvard Grieg Society is a non-profit organisation, aiming to create a worldwide network of scholars, performers and music listeners who cherish the music of the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.
  • Grieg Research Centre (UiB) at University of Bergen does research on Edvard Grieg's works, his historical importance and cultural relevance in the past and the present. The centre's goal is further to contribute to international research on the diverse traditions in Norwegian music succeeding Grieg and the close exchanges between regional music and international currents.
  • Kode Art Museums and Composer Homes Troldhaugen, Lysøen and Siljustøl, the homes of three of Norway's greatest composers and artists through the times – Edvard Grieg, Ole Bull and Harald Sæverud – are a part of Kode, Art Museums and Composer Homes. Kode is one of the largest museums for art, craft, design and music in the Nordic countries.
  • The Grieg Academy - Faculty of Fine Art, Music, and Design, University of Bergen
    The Grieg Academy – Department of Music was established at the University of Bergen in 1995 and is now one of three departments at the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design (KMD). Our profile is modelled on internationally recognised performing arts environments (classical, jazz, folk music), composition, music therapy, musicology and music education.