Based on the Sonatas for Violin and Piano
Edvard GRIEG (1843–1907)
Three Concerti for Violin
and Chamber Orchestra
(based on the sonatas for violin and piano)
Orchestrated by Henning Kraggerud and Bernt Simen Lund
Henning Kraggerud, Violin • Tromsø Chamber Orchestra
Grieg wrote his publisher offering to write a violin concerto, but sadly was not encouraged to do so. Since half of Grieg’s orchestral works are arrangements made by him from piano originals (for instance the Holberg Suite) and that during his lifetime he granted others permission to arrange from his piano originals (for instance Norwegian Dances), Henning Kraggerud and Bernt Simen Lund decided to write these violin concertos for him, based on his sonatas for violin and piano. The sonatas were among Grieg’s favourite pieces, but today they are much less played than his famous orchestral works. Grieg’s Piano Concerto is, together with Schumann’s, said to be the world’s most played piano concerto.
Listen to an excerpt from
Violin Concerto No. 2 in G major, Op. 13
Buy Now:
The Genesis of Grieg’s Violin Concertos
Edvard Hagerup Grieg

Edvard Grieg is one of the world’s best known composers, with compositions that reach far beyond the classical music field. His Piano Concerto in A minor is one of the most played and recorded of all piano concertos. But why on earth did he not compose a violin concerto?

When I started my career as a soloist more than twenty years ago, I was constantly asked to suggest Norwegian violin concertos. But when I proposed the excellent concertos by Sinding, Svendsen and others, there was not much interest. Come to think of it, a ‘Grieg Violin Concerto’ would have been so very useful!

Ever since my arrangement of Grieg’s song I Love Only You for violin and orchestra, I have toyed with the idea of arranging his violin sonatas for violin and orchestra as well. Despite being among Grieg’s own favourite pieces, the sonatas are less known than many of his other works.

To orchestrate the three violin sonatas is, of course, a major challenge. A suitable opportunity came when I was asked to become artistic director of Tromsø Chamber Orchestra. Having heard that they had an excellent arranger of music among their members, I aired the idea of arranging these sonatas together with him. Both Bernt Simen Lund and the orchestra embraced my suggestion. With Bernt Simen’s input we often ended up with different ideas for the same passage. The result was solutions that neither of us would have come up with. It was much more fun, and a much better result than if I had done it alone.

Henning Kraggerud

Henning Kraggerud
© Robert Romik
Henning Kraggerud is renowned not only for his virtuosity, but also for his creativity. Violinist, violist, composer, director, Professor at Barratt–Due Institute of Music, and Artistic Leader of Tromsø Chamber Orchestra, he has expanded the boundaries of the world of the classical violin. He is also, with Lars Anders Tomter, Artistic Director of Risør Festival of Chamber Music, a position he took over from Leif Ove Andsnes.
Tromsø Chamber Orchestra
© Marius Fiskum
As Norway’s only full–time professional chamber orchestra, Tromsø Chamber Orchestra has a unique place in the hearts of people in Tromsø and Northern Norway. With innovative and courageous programming, the orchestra gives weekly concerts ranging from jazz and folk–music to classical and contemporary works, collaborating with some of the leading soloists in Norway and Europe.
"Highly recommendable."
The Gramophone Classical
Music Guide