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Selmer, Johan Peter

Selmer, Johan Peter

Selmer, Johan Peter, Norwegian conductor and composer; b. Christiania, Jan. 20, 1844; d. Venice, July 21, 1910. After studying law in Norway, he took a course under Ambroise Thomas at the Paris Cons. (1869–70); later studied at the Leipzig Cons. with Richter (1871–74). From 1883 to 1886 he conducted Christiania’s Musikforeningen. He was greatly influenced by Berlioz, Liszt, and Wagner, and his symphonic pieces bear the imprint of late Romanticism. Like Grieg, he made use of Norwegian folk material. His most important work was Prometheus, symphonic poem (Oct. 29, 1898).

Works

ORCH .(all first perf. in Christiania): L’année terrible, scène funèbre (Sept. 30, 1871); Alastor (Oct. 24, 1874); Karneval i Flandern (Nov. 8, 1890); In den bergen, suite (1892); Prometheus, symphonic poem (Oct. 29, 1898). CHORAL WITH ORCH .: Nordens aand (The Spirit of the North; 1872); Hilsen til Nidaros (Greeting to Nidaros; 1883); Selvmorderen og pilgrimene (The Suicide and the Pilgrims; 1888); Tyrekerne gaar nod Athen (The Turks Go Towards Athens; c. 1893); various works for Men’s Voices and Women’s Voices; about 100 songs;.

Bibliography

P. Merkel Der norwegische Komponist J. S.: Ein Lebensbild (Leipzig, 1904); S. Lind, J.S. som komponist (diss., Univ. of Oslo, 1950).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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