Norway and Scotland : a cultural symbiosis

Norwegian native and committee member, Eva Tyson, reflects on the Grieg Society of Scotland’s special From Norway with Grieg heritage tour & concert project which welcomed Troldhaugens Venner – Friends of the Edvard Grieg Museum, Bergen – to the North East of Scotland this spring.

The Grieg Society of Scotland welcomes Troldhaugens Venner
‘From Norway with Grieg!’ The Grieg Society of Scotland welcomes members of Troldhaugens Venner (Friends of the Edvard Grieg Museum in Bergen) to its special collaborative concert at Queen’s Cross Church, Aberdeen, in May 2023.

In May, Aberdeenshire experienced a Viking invasion of a more gentle kind, when 35 friends of the Edvard Grieg museum in Bergen, were treated to a historic and fascinating tour. This included not just sightseeing in the North, but an important visit to the graves of Grieg’s Scottish forefathers located in Rathen Old Kirkyard in Aberdeenshire.

The tour finished on the 13th May with a concert in Queen’s Cross church in Aberdeen. The concert was well attended with many local Aberdonians telling me how they love Grieg’s music and would not miss such an occasion. The well known Norwegian pianist Rune Alver, played several pieces of Grieg’s compositions, including the popular Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, to great applause. Dr Sally Garden, Honorary Director of the Scottish Grieg Society, is herself a noted mezzo-soprano and her recital included Scottish songs, particularly loved by Grieg’s wife Nina, such as Comin thro the rye and Afton Water both by Rabbie Burns. This was delivered with brilliant technique and emotion to the delight of the audience.

Rune Alver (piano) & Sally Garden (mezzo) in concert
Rune Alver (piano) and Sally Garden (mezzo) in concert in Aberdeen, May 2023. Their programme ‘From Norway with Grieg!’ of Norwegian and Scots piano music and song, brought the spirits of Edvard and Nina Grieg together on the concert platform, and the audience together with the artists in song to a rousing Norwegian-Scottish finale.

Nature was an inspiration both to Grieg and Burns and this leitmotiv was so apparent during the concert, bringing Scotland and Norway together in an expressive and imaginative way.

Author: Eva Tyson (Committee Member, Grieg Society of Scotland)

‘From Norway with Grieg!’ – our novel music heritage tour & special Norwegian-Scottish concert will boost international friendship

The Grieg Society of Scotland is delighted to announce its first major project since the pandemic. From Norway with Grieg! music heritage tour & concert will see Troldhaugens Venner – Friends of the Edvard Grieg Museum Troldhaugen, Bergen – and renowned Norwegian pianist Rune Alver come to Scotland in May to experience for themselves the deep cultural connexions and commonalities between the communities of eastern Scotland and western Norway.

Troldhaugen - summer home of Edvard & Nina Grieg
Troldhaugen in Bergen, the summer home for many years of Edvard & Nina Grieg, enjoys the support of Troldhaugens Venner (Friends of the Edvard Grieg Museum) whose fundraising and volunteer work helps maintain building and grounds for international visitors.

The Society will guide the 30-strong Friends group on a one-day music heritage tour to the gravestone and historic rural environs of composer Edvard Grieg’s Aberdeenshire ancestors, introducing them to the Society’s 2018 conservation project ‘Monumentally Grieg!’ at Rathen kirkyard, and to the area’s musical heritage.

Gables to the sea, stones to the sun, and music in the air. Preparing our music heritage tour of ‘Grieg country’! And looking forward to welcoming our international visitors, Troldhaugens Venner, from Norway.

After a few days visit to the Highlands, to Culloden, and to sites connected with WWII Kompani Linge, the group return to Aberdeen for a special collaborative concert on Saturday 13th May with Rune Alver and Scottish mezzo Sally Garden at the city’s welcoming and well-established music venue, Queen’s Cross Church.

The concert, of Norwegian and Scottish piano music and song, will bring together local community and international visitors in a fresh and informal meeting-through-music, making it an occasion for renewed North Sea friendship. It will also be the first occasion Rune Alver and Sally Garden have collaborated in concert together.


From Norway with Grieg!

The Grieg Society of Scotland present renowned Norwegian pianist Rune Alver and Scottish mezzo Sally Garden in a fun concert celebrating the musical talents and Scottish connections of Edvard Grieg and his wife, singer Nina Grieg. The artists will be joined by Friends of the Edvard Grieg Museum, Bergen, completing their tour of Scotland and visit to the ancestral grave of the Norwegian composer in Aberdeenshire. Come join us for an hour of inspirational piano music, song and international friendship – audience participation may be required!

From Norway with Grieg!
Saturday 13 May 2023 at 6:30pm
Queens Cross Church, Aberdeen
Tickets £8 at door (students, under 18s free) | Approx 60mins

Author: Dr Sally LK Garden

‘Harps of the North’ film release for Walter Scott 250

Harps of the North

Today, on composer Edvard Grieg’s birthday, we are delighted to announce the release of our film contribution to the Walter Scott 250 anniversary year.

Harps of the North : Edvard Grieg & Andreas Munch in the World of Walter Scott tells the story of a song, composed by Grieg to words by Munch, that was created in Rome and stimulated by a pilgrimage to Abbotsford, the home of Walter Scott.

Decades after his death, Walter Scott was still a major influence on writers and musicians in Europe and – the subject of our film – Scandinavia.

Watch our Harps of the North film below, or on Youtube here.

More about the Walter Scott 250 anniversary programme here.

Press release here.

Author : Dr Sally LK Garden