a biography

"A magical hour-and-a-half"--- "A revelation..." --- "A thoroughbred musical poet..."--- "His music soothed my soul and lifted my spirit"--- "Music in its purest form"--- those are some of the accolades describing the artistry of Sigmund Groven. Recognized as one of the world's leading exponents of the chromatic harmonica Sigmund Groven appears regularly in concert, on radio and TV, and at music festivals throughout the world. At the Golden Jubilee of the Dartington International Summer -Music Festival in England last August he conducted a master-class together with his teacher and mentor Tommy Reilly with students from 4 continents, and gave a concert with the Sinfonia of Lahti from Finland. His performance at the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall last September was also a triumphant success.

The 1999 schedule includes concerts with the famous Academy of Chamber Ensemble, a tour of Japan following his 1995 Japanese visit, as well as more concerts with the Dala Sinfonietta in Sweden after his successful tour with them this year. In addition he has signed a contract with GRAPPA Records to record several new albums, one of which will include original works for harmonica and orchestra.

In 1990 Sigmund Groven made musical history, becoming one of the very few harmonica players ever to be featured at Carnegie Hall with a classical recital of his own. He plays a custom-made silver concert harmonica, and his repertoire ranges from folk music to his own compositions, from Bach to original works for harmonica and orchestra by such composers as Villa-Lobos. Recent engagements have included performances with the orchestras of Anchorage, Manitoba, Minneapolis, Quebec, and Dallas, on which occasion he was made honorary citizen of Texas. Other orchestras he has played with are the radio symphony orchestras of Berlin, Munich, Brussels, Hilversum, Oslo, and London. Recently he has appeared as soloist with some of Europe's leading symphonic bands, incl. the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy. During the 1994 Winter Olympics Arts Festival at Lilleharnmer he was featured in four different concerts, he also scored a tremendous success at EXPO'92 in Sevilla, Spain, and during the 1993 Edvard Grieg celebrations he performed for UNESCO in Paris and at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. He is regularly featured as star entertainer on cruise ships around the world, and on many occasions he has given Royal Command performances for the Kings and Queens of Norway and Sweden.

Sigmund Groven was bom in Heddal, Telemark, Norway, into a musical family; his uncle, Eivind Groven was a famous composer. Sigmund's interest in the harmonica was aroused at the age of nine upon hearing a record of the legendary Tommy Reilly - one of the pioneers of serious harmonica-playing who became his source of inspiration as a musician. Later they joined with members of the Academy of St.Martin-in-the-Fields to record original works written for them by such composers as Robert Farnon, Gordon Jacob, and James Moody. Sigmund's own albums have become part of the musical heritage in Norway, and following the internationally successfu .'SIESTA" and ''TIL TELEMARK" the 1998 release is aptly called "HARMONICA ALBUM", as it includes such harmonica favourites as "Moon River", "Midnight Cowboy", "Calling You", "Summenime", "Firefly", "The Greeii Leaves ofsummer", "Jean de Florette", and a couple of Groven originals.

As a composer Sigmund Groven received a commission for the Sesquicentennial of Norwegian immigration to America ("B low, Silver Wind" with words by Erik Bye), and a commission from the Norsemen's Federation to commemorate Leiv Eiriksson's discovery of America ("Vinland Suite"); both works have been performed widely, including Carnegie Hall. Other works include music for film, radio, and TV, and a number of songs and instrumental works. Twice he received the award "Composition of the Year" from the Norwegian Society of Composers. Last year he was appointed President of TONO, the Norwegian Performing Rights Society.

"He left the audience stunned" (0stgbta Correspondent, Sweden)
"Ein Gentleman der Mundharmonika" (SMI-Bulletin, Basel, Switzerland)
"His Bach solos were models of elegance" (Anchorage Daily News, Alaska)
"Under his spell the harmonica seems to reverberate and glow
with every emotion of the human heart..." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"A most sensitive and thrilling performance" (Harmonica Review, Tokyo)
"His poetic performance was deeply moving" (NoordhollandsDagblad, Den Helder, Netherlands)
"A musician with charisma, deep passion and a magical sound" (Minglfao, Hong Kong)
"A phenomenal performer on an unusual instrument." (Gordon,Wright, conductor)

Grappa Musikkforlag - Akersgata 7 - 0158 Oslo - ~Tlf: 22 41 24 00 - Fax: 22 41 55 52


Sigmund Groven- Discography

1975 - Sk spiller vi harmonica Polydor 2920 133

1976 - Music For Two Polydor Harmonicas (With Tommy Reilly 2922 008

1977 - Musikk for en tang natt (With Ketil Bjornstad) Polydor 2382 083 (LP)
Phillips 522 293-2 (CD1994)

1979 - Motlys Polydor 2922 039

1981 - Musikken inni oss (With Arve Tellefsen) Polydor 2382 119 (LP)
NorDisc NORLP 10008 (LP) Sonet SCD 15048 (CD 1992)

1981 - Kom sol pa alle mine berg.(With Geirr Lystrup) Sonet SLP 1471 (LP)
PA Norsk PN 8209 (LP) Grappa GRCD 4144 (CD1998)

1981 - Laevandes dikt (With Ove Rosbak and lver Kleive) Viton 70007 (LP)

1983 - Songar uten ord. (With Henning Sommerro) Polydor 813 587-1 (LP)

1985 - Colour Slides Nopa 2904. Grappa GRCD 4143 (CD 1998)

1986 - Trollstenen (With Ove Rosbak) Nopa 2908.Grappa BK 127 (MC1993)

1988 - Aria Sonet SOD 15012

1990 - Nordisk natt Sonet SOD 15021

1991 - Nattonsker Sonet SOD 15021

1993 - Siesta Sonet SOD 15069/NOPA NOCD 15069/Grappa GRCD 4140 (1998)

1995 - Til Telemark Sonet SOD 15086/NOPA NOCD 15086/Grappa GRCD 4141 (1998)

1996 - I godt lag (double- CD) Sonet SOD 15102/Grappa GRCD 4142 (1998)

1998 - Harmonica album Grappa GRCD 4151

Grappe Musikforlag - Akersgata 7 - 0158 Oslo . Tlf: 22 41 24 00 - Fax: 22 41 55 52


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