Back to Bergen, six months later. Again, the reason for my trip was Grieg's vocal repertoire, specifically to take part in two concurrent events organized by the International Grieg Society: a conference ("Edvard Grieg and Human Voice"), and a workshop of masterclasses with several experts in the repertoire, all of them Norwegian singers or pianists. Participants in these events came from at least twenty countries, world-wide. I had the opportunity to play in the workshop with two singers (one American, and the other Japanese), covering several songs with each of them, and receiving inspiring and informative coaching from three pianists on faculty at the Grieg Academy, and three well-known singers.
I also managed to take in a few of the presentations of the conference, and played "live music" samples for the talks of two of my colleagues. As well, I gave a presentation, based on my exploration and analysis of one of Grieg's songs, with respect to the connection between spoken word and how the text was set by Grieg.
On the final evening of the workshops and conference, we (the workshop participants) gave a recital in Grieg's living room at Troldhaugen. On Grieg's piano! A thrilling, moving, and instructive experience, to say the least. I had the uncanny feeling that the piano already "knew" the music.
I then stayed on in beautiful Bergen for three days of rehearsal with soprano Hilde Haraldsen Sveen, who will be joining me for some concerts in Canada this fall. Very rich days of inspiring and rewarding work.