Norman, (Fredrik Vilhelm) Ludvig

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Norman, (Fredrik Vilhelm) Ludvig

Norman, (Fredrik Vilhelm) Ludvig, notable Swedish conductor, pianist, and composer; b. Stockholm, Aug. 28, 1831; d. there, March 28, 1885. He began piano lessons as a child with Vilhelmina Josephson. While still young, he received training in theory with Adolf Fredrik Lindblad and in piano with Theodor Stein and Jan van Boom. At 14, he made his first public appearance as a pianist. In 1848 he went to Leipzig to pursue training at the Cons, with Moscheles (piano), Hauptmann (counterpoint), and Rietz (composition). Upon his return to Stockholm in 1852, he became active as a pianist, teacher, and composer. From 1858 to 1861 he taught at the Cons, of the Swedish Academy of Music. In 1860 he helped to organize the New Harmonic Soc. and established himself as a conductor. In 1861 he became conductor of the Royal Opera, a position he held with great distinction until 1878. During his tenure there, he also conducted sym. concerts with its orch. that developed into regular sym. concerts from 1878. Norman introduced many works to the Swedish public, among them operas by Wagner, Verdi, Gounod, and Bizet. In 1880 he founded the Music Soc, which he served as conductor until his death. In 1864 he married Wilma Neruda, but they separated in 1870. As a composer, Norman was respected but little appreciated by his contemporaries. He is now acknowledged as one of the principal Swedish symphonists of the second half of the 20th century. He was an able craftsman who revealed secure handling of instrumentation set off by a gift of inventive melodicwriting.


orch Overture (1849); Concert Piece for Piano and Orch. (1850; rev. 1875 and 1880): Concerto Overture (1856; Stockholm, Feb. 1857); 3 syms.: No. 1 (1858–59; Stockholm, April 4, 1875), No. 2 (1870–71; Stockholm, Jan. 4, 1873), and No. 3 (1881; Stockholm, Nov. 14, 1885); Funeral March in memory of August Söderman (1876); Overture to Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (1881); Festival Overture on National Themes (1882). chamber: Violin Sonata (1848); 2 piano trios (1849; 1871–72); 5 Tonbilder in Zusammenhange for Violin and Piano (1851); String Sextet (1854); Piano Quartet (1856–57); 10 karak-tärsstycken for Violin and Piano (1863–83); String Octet (1866–67); Cello Sonata (1867); Sextet for Piano, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass (1868–69; rev. 1873); Viola Sonata (1869); String Quintet (1870); 5 string quartets; many piano pieces. vocal: Several cantatas; songs.


J. Bagge, Förteckning öfuer L N.’s tonverk (Stockholm, 1886).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire