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Ernst von Dohnányi visited Kristiania, nowadays Oslo, the first time in 1906. Receiving very good reviews, he became a frequent guest in the city playing usually for full concert halls. He came to the city numerous times as a soloist performing music of the leading European composers of the nineteenth century and Beethoven’s and Bach’s works as well. He appeared on the stages in Kristiania also as a chamber music performer. Besides, his music was played there being prized high. He was considered a permanent and very wanted guest in the city and became an artist recommended as a piano teacher to the young Norwegian students by for example Edvard Grieg. His name was also used by the Norwegian piano factory’s owners together with the names of other famous artists such as Leschetizky, Paderewski, Carreño and others in the commercials of the instruments for many years. Eventually, his music was played there not only by the artist. This article’s aim is to show all the aspects of presence and reception of Dohnányi’s art in Kristiania in the period the artist used to show up in the city’s musical life.

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Behind Musical Stages •

The Role of Concert Bureaus in the Musical Life of Kristiania in the First Decades of the 20th Century

Studia Musicologica
Author: Dagmara Łopatowska-Romsvik


The first two decades of the twentieth century were a very vivid period in the musical life of Kristiania. Except for symphonic concerts given by the orchestras of Musikforeningen and the Nationaltheatret audiences had an opportunity to attend many solo and chamber music performances. The organizers of these were first of all concert bureaus existing in the city. Each of them served a group of its own artists – both Norwegian and foreign. The aim of this text is to show what musical life in Kristiania looked like behind the concert stages. The press reviews also revealed a connection between the impresarios' and the music publishers' business. Besides, a comparison between the Norwegian and European impresarios revealed that the period under scrutiny was the moment of transition in the profile of this profession in Norway.

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