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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » T » Tveitt, Geirr



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Geirr Tveitt (01/01/1908 - 01/01/1981)

Geirr Tveitt was born on 19 October 1908 in Bergen, Norway, where his father was teaching for a short period of time. The family home was situated by the Hardanger fjord in western Norway and he remained conscious of his cultural heritage all his life. He was christened Nils, but as a young adult he took the old Norwegian name Geirr, which means "spear". He spent his childhood years both at Lofthus in Hardanger and in Drammen, but each summer he returned to the ancestral farm at Kvam, where he experienced the rich folk-music traditions of the area from an early age. He had musical training both in piano and violin, but it was not until his adolescent years at Voss that he decided to become a composer after having been encouraged by Norway’s most significant composer at the time, Christian Sinding. In 1928 he went to Leipzig to study composition (H. Grabner and L. Wenninger) and piano (O. Weinreich). After only two years of studies, his Two-Part Inventions were published by Breitkopf and Härtel and soon after his Piano Concerto No. 1 was performed by the Leipzig Symphony Orchestra. He left Leipzig after four years. In 1932, 1933 and 1935 he studied for periods of time in Paris where he was taught composition and orchestration by Honegger and Villa-Lobos, among others. In Vienna, he received musical training under the guidance of Egon Wellesz. He then settled in Oslo and the years up to the outbreak of the Second World War were to become a prosperous period for him as a composer. The performance of the ballet Baldur’s Dreams in

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