Romantic-era compositions to be revived during inaugural Grieg conference at GC

PHOTO CONTRIBUTEDPictured is Norwegian bass-baritone Njål Sparbo, one of the guest musicians scheduled to perform at SalzBergen: Exploring the Intersection Between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Edvard Grieg.

GOSHEN — The Edvard Grieg Society of the Great Lakes will present its inaugural conference, SalzBergen: Exploring the Intersection Between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Edvard Grieg, Friday and Saturday at the Goshen College Music Center.

The society, a nonprofit organization, exists to celebrate the life, works and culture of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg through musical performances, scholarly lectures and the sponsorship of young-artist competitions throughout the Great Lakes region. The society was founded in 2016 by Dr. Gregory Martin and Luke and Mary Rose Norell.

Special guests for the event include celebrated Norwegian bass-baritone Njål Sparbo, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra violinist and Elkhart County native Amy Kauffman, eminent Grieg translator Dr. William Halverson, competition judge Marvin Blickenstaff, University of Wisconsin-Madison soprano Mimmi Fulmer and Martin, a University of Indianapolis pianist, as well as Goshen College Community School of the Arts musicians Brook Bennett, cellist, and the Norells, both pianists.

The conference includes concerts at 7:30 p.m. both Friday night and Saturday night in Rieth Recital Hall. The Friday night concert is part of the Rieth Chamber Series at Goshen College, and tickets are $10, available at or by calling 574-535-7566. Tickets for the Saturday night concert are $10 and will be available at the door.

On Saturday morning, a pre-college piano competition will take place from 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., with $1600 in prizes and 30 competitors from the Great Lakes region. The competition is free and open to the public.

Saturday afternoon will include lectures and lecture-performances highlighting the connections between the two composers from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Zook Choral Hall. The block of events will include a keynote address by Dr. William Halverson, a discussion led by Martin of the article that Grieg wrote about Mozart, a performance by the Norell Piano Duo of Mozart piano sonatas that Grieg arranged for two pianos, a vocal panel discussion “Interpreting Grieg in His Own Language” and “Emotion through Song”, a lecture performance comparing Grieg and Mozart’s treatment of sentiment in their song repertoire. All lectures are free.

Related event

The Youth Honors Orchestras of the Goshen College Community School of the Arts will perform their spring concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, including one movement of the Grieg "Piano Concerto in A Minor" with soloist Mary Rose Norell. The concert will take place in Sauder Hall, and tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for seniors/students.

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