Composers / Edvard Grieg / Places catalog
Grieg visited the Czech capital twice, giving grand concerts at the Rudolfinum, the home of the Philharmonic, on 25 March 1903 and 16 April 1906 with the orchestra of the Royal Provincial German Theatre. On both occasions, he met Antonín Dvořák. Their first meeting was brief, because the Czech composer was in a hurry, and so Grieg found him rather odd. The second time, the meeting was friendly and warm. Dvořák invited Grieg home and introduced him to his family, and his daughter Magda performed Grieg’s songs with orchestra during one of the concerts. In 1904, when Dvořák died, Grieg wrote a lengthy obituary for the Verdens Gang newspaper.
The programmes from the Prague concerts are accessible on the websites of Europeana and Bergen Public Library (tab Konsertprogrammer: Tsjekkia)
Frantisek A. Urbánek, a highly influential Czech music publisher, had tried to bring Grieg to Prague during the 1880s. He died in 1892, but his plans for guest performances by Grieg were taken up by his son, Mojmír Urbánek.
While in Prague, Grieg met many Czech musicians, including the members of the Bohemian Quartet founded by Karel Hoffmann, which played his String Quartet in G minor – ‘wonderfully’, according to the composer.
Grieg concert program, Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek
Prague Castle. Phot. Stefan Bauer.
Rudolfinum concert hall. Phot. Andreas Praefcke.
Rudolfinum. (creative commons)
St. Nicolas Church. Phot. Hans Peter Schaefer.
View of Charles Bridge and Old Town in Prague. Phot. Maciej Dembiniok.