Grieg Academy

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The Grieg Academy (Norwegian: Griegakademiet) is a name shared by music programs spread across two higher education institutions in Bergen, Norway.[1] One prominent institution, which until recently has referred to itself in English as the "Grieg Institute" (or "Griegakademiet - Institutt for musikk" in Norwegian) is the music conservatory in Bergen, and a department of the University of Bergen (UiB). However, Norway's oldest music degree program,[2] and the institution that has for the longest been called "Griegakademiet" in Norwegian - and "Grieg Academy" in English - is the music education department now incorporated into Bergen University College (HiB).[3][4] "Griegakademiet" has appeared for many years in official documents and on street signs for all entrances as well as hallways to the music department of HiB, which is the largest music education program in Norway (with alumni of over 1000 music teachers), offering Bachelor and Master degrees and teacher certification. HiB is also the "Grieg Academy" that in 2002 hosted one of the world's largest music education conferences.[5] The UiB music department, in contrast to the HiB music department, used to be called the "Bergen Conservatory," and now has a slightly larger number of full-time music faculty, emphasizes elite performance studies rather than music teacher education, and is more centrally-located in downtown Bergen.

Significance of bi-institutional context[edit]

Although the scenario of a shared name might appear to suggest competing interests (and indeed there was resistance to a full merger proposed in the 1990s), several instructors now teach music concurrently at both institutions, and a healthy partnership is evident between musicians and programs at these two schools which have rather different emphases.[6] According to the history explained in Norwegian on the Grieg Academy-UiB’s official website, “towards the end of the 1980s, the conservatory faced major restructuring, and a government report recommended closer cooperation with the University of Bergen. In the autumn of 1995, Nina Grieg's 150th birthday and 90 years after Torgrim Castberg first opened the Music Academy, the Conservatoire was founded as an ‘institute’ at the University of Bergen, and ‘Grieg Academy’ was established as a ceiling (or umbrella ...) of all music education programs under both the University of Bergen and Bergen University College.”[7] Also, according to a 1996 report from the website of University of Bergen, “The Grieg Academy is a partnership between the University and Bergen University College who has since earlier been offering a major in music education. This academic partnership rests on three pillars: music pedagogy at the former teachers college and applied/creative music and musicology at the University.”[8] Due to both marketing strategies and inter-institutional politics, the Grieg Academy-UiB has in recent years increasingly taken a public stance implying that it is "the" Grieg Academy, yet for those who know this history it remains undeniably clear that "the Grieg Academy" actually continues to be spread across two institutions, University of Bergen and Bergen University College, with some forms of collaboration. In recent years, the folk music school Ole Bull Academy[9] in nearby Voss (named after renowned violin virtuoso Ole Bull), has also been to some extent brought under the Grieg Academy umbrella. The name Grieg may be traced to Norway's most famous composer Edvard Grieg, a native son of Bergen, and the tradition of naming music schools after famous composers is evident across Europe, including the Sibelius Academy, Liszt Academy, and Mozarteum.

Grieg Academy-UiB[edit]

The Music department of the University of Bergen (UiB), was founded in 1905 as the Bergen Musikkonservatorium (Bergen Music Conservatory) by T. Castberg.[10] It offers 4-year undergraduate programs in Performance, Composition and Pedagogy/Music Education, and also 2-year Masters programs in Performance, Composition and Ethnomusicology. The Academy maintains a population of approximately 160 students, A permanent staff of 25 and numerous part-time faculty. The Griegakademiet-Institutt for musikk has also partnered itself with two of the elite bands in the Hordaland area: the brass band Eikanger-Bjørsvik Musikklag and the wind band Dragefjellets Musikkorps (Bergen Symphonic Band). Many faculty members are also members and principal players of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. Notable faculty include professor Per Hannevold (bassoon and orchestral studies), professor (II) Gro Schibsted Sandvik (flute), guitarist Stein-Erik Olsen,[11] professor Brynjulf Stige[12] (music therapist), Tom Solomon[13] (ethnomusicologist), and professor Harald Bjørkøy (voice). Alumni from the Academy include Leif Ove Andsnes, Harald Sæverud, and Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen.

Grieg Academy-HiB[edit]

The original "Grieg Academy"- the music department in the Faculty of Education at Bergen University College (HiB) - was the very first institution in Norway to offer a music degree[14] (established in Landås in 1958 by Ivar Benum[15]), and the first to offer a postgraduate degree in music education, and continues to be the nation's largest music education degree program, with studies primarily for those who plan to become music teachers, music teacher educators, or arts researchers and cultural policy-makers. Although its emphasis is on music education rather than performance studies, the faculty includes performers, composers, conductors, and musicologists, and supports an affiliated Center for Arts, Culture, and Communication[16] (headed by Professor Aslaug Nyrnes[17]) to foster research in the arts, for which PhD students are frequently in residence. Notable music Professors and Lecturers at HiB include Eiliv Olsen, Thorolf Krüger (educational theorist), David G. Hebert[18] (sociomusicologist), Tiri Bergesen Schei (music phenomenologist), Catharina Christophersen (educational researcher), Torunn Bakken Hauge (rhythmic music pedagogue), Jostein Stalheim (composer), Egil Haugland (guitarist and guitar maker) and Njål Vendenes (guitarist). Renowned choir conductor Maria Gamborg Helbekkmo[19] became Emeritus Professor in 2012. The campus is located in Landås, a suburb of Bergen, but its new 51,000 square metre building for the entire Faculty of Education (including performing arts facilities) is now under construction at a convenient location just south of downtown Bergen, with expected completion projected to 2013.[20] The HiB Faculty of Education currently has 2300 students and 150 staff members (around 20 of whom are full-time in music at Griegakademiet), and music is the largest graduate program offered by the Faculty, which is also known for its strong programs in drama and other arts.[21] New PhD programs are also under development, as indicated in HiB's strategic plan.[22] Notable alumni of the HiB Griegakademiet at Landås include renowned brass band conductor and arranger Tom Brevik,[23] Opera Bergen producer and director Anne Randine Øverby,[24] choral conductor Per Oddvar Hildre,[25] award-winning jazz pianist Dag Arnesen,[26] and several of Norway’s most renowned songwriters and rock musicians, such as the leaders of Kaizers Orchestra and Odd Nordstoga, and the school is often given some credit for the recent “Bergen Wave" of popular music.[27] In the fields of music academia and music industry/management, notable graduates from HiB-Grieg Academy’s music education programs include: Associate Professor Tom Eide Osa,[28] Associate Professor Steinar Saetre,[29] Associate Professor Ketil Thorgersen,[30] CEO Gisle Johnsen,[31] and international festival manager/jazz pianist Oystein Kvinge.[32] According to its website, “Grieg Academy, Bergen University College has exchange agreements with educational institutions in Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, England, Germany, USA, Australia, Greece and Austria.”[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Evidence may be seen in how professors commonly refer to the two schools at academic conferences. [1]. This is also evident in how graduates commonly refer to themselves in the professional workforce as affiliated with either Griegakademiet-UiB or Griegakademiet-HiB. [2] [3].
  2. ^ Noralf Mork, The Fate of Innovation: A Social History of Creativity and Curriculum Control (PhD dissertation, University of Brighton, 2008)
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  6. ^ Document concerning HiB/UiB collaboration on Grieg Academy
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  10. ^ Michelsen, Kari (2001). "Bergen". In Sadie, Stanley, editor; Tyrell, John, executive editor. Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd ed.). London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-56159-239-5. OCLC 419285866.  (eBook).
  11. ^
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  14. ^ Noralf Mork, The Fate of Innovation: A Social History of Creativity and Curriculum Control (PhD dissertation, University of Brighton, 2008)
  15. ^ no:Ivar Benum
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  24. ^,norwegian/
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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 60°23′21.26″N 5°19′32.94″E / 60.3892389°N 5.3258167°E / 60.3892389; 5.3258167