Christian Sinding
Christian August Sinding (11 January 18563 December 1941) was a Norwegian
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...


Personal life

He was born in Kongsberg
is a town and municipality in Buskerud county, Norway. It is located at the southern end of the traditional region of Numedal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Kongsberg....

 as a son of mine superindendent Matthias Wilhelm Sinding
Matthias Wilhelm Sinding
Matthias Wilhelm Sinding was a Norwegian mining engineer and factory founder.He was born in Fredrikstad as a son of Ulrik Rosing Sinding and Mette Marie Bang...

 (1811–1860) and Cecilie Marie Mejdell (1817–86). He was a brother of the painter Otto Sinding
Otto Sinding
Otto Ludvig Sinding was a Norwegian painter, illustrator, poet and dramatist. Sinding drew on motives from Norwegian nature, folk life and history.-Personal life:...

 and the sculptor Stephan Sinding
Stephan Sinding
Stephan Abel Sinding was a Norwegian-Danish sculptor. He moved to Copenhagen in 1883 and had his breakthrough the same year. In 1890 he obtained Danish citizenship. In 1810 he settled in Paris where he lived and worked until his death in 1922...

. He was a nephew of Nicolai Mejdell
Nicolai Mejdell
Christian Henrik Nicolai Mejdell was a Norwegian mining engineer.He was born in Vang, Hedmark. He took his mining examination in 1843. He worked as manager of Selbu Copper Works and Kongsberg Silver Works, and from 1865 he was the mine superindendent for all of South-Eastern Norway...

 (1822–1899) and Thorvald Mejdell
Thorvald Mejdell
Thorvald Mejdell was a Norwegian forester.He was born in Ringsaker as a son of colonel Gløer Gløersen Mejdell and Thorine Krog. He was a nephew of officer Jacob Gerhard Meydell and brother of mining engineer Nicolai Mejdell, and an uncle of jurist and writer Glør Thorvald Mejdell...

 (1824–1908), and through the former a first cousin of Glør Thorvald Mejdell
Glør Thorvald Mejdell
Glør Thorvald Mejdell was a Norwegian barrister, judge and political writer.He was born in Kongsberg as a son of mining engineer Nicolai Mejdell , nephew of forester Thorvald Mejdell and grandnephew of officer Jacob Gerhard Meydell. He finished his secondary education in 1868, took the cand.jur...

, who married Christian's sister Thora Cathrine Sinding. Christian Sinding was also a first cousin of Alfred Sinding-Larsen
Alfred Sinding-Larsen
Nils Ulrik Alfred Sinding-Larsen was a Norwegian civil servant, teacher at the Military Academy, journalist and writer.-Personal life:...

 and the three siblings Ernst Anton Henrik Sinding
Ernst Anton Henrik Sinding
Ernst Anton Henrik Sinding was a Norwegian school director.-Personal life:He was born in Larvik as a son of vicar Otto Ludvig Sinding and Dorothea Magdalene Lammers...

, Elisabeth Sinding and Gustav Adolf Sinding. Through his brother Otto he was the uncle of painter Sigmund Sinding.

In November 1898 he married actress Augusta Gade, née Smith-Petersen (1858–1936). She had been married to Fredrik Georg Gade
Fredrik Georg Gade
-Personal life:He was born in Bergen as the son of merchant Fredrik Georg Gade and his wife Ingeborg Wallem . The family originated in Lüneburg; an ancestor had migrated to Norway in the eighteenth century. The name Fredrik Georg was a family tradition...

 for seventeen years, and was a daughter of Morten Smith-Petersen and maternal granddaughter of Jacob von der Lippe.


He studied music first in Christiania
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

 before going to Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, where he studied at the conservatory in Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

 under Salomon Jadassohn
Salomon Jadassohn
Salomon Jadassohn was a German composer and a renowned teacher of piano and composition at the Leipzig Conservatory.-Life:...

 and fell under the musical influences of Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

 and Liszt
Liszt is a Hungarian surname. Notable persons with that surname include:* Franz Liszt , Hungarian composer and pianist* Adam Liszt , father of Franz Liszt* Anna Liszt , mother of Franz Liszt...

. He lived in Germany for much of his life, but received regular grants from the Norwegian government. In 1920–21 he went to the United States of America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 to teach composition for a season at the Eastman School of Music
Eastman School of Music
The Eastman School of Music is a music conservatory located in Rochester, New York. The Eastman School is a professional school within the University of Rochester...

 in Rochester, New York. In 1924 he was given Henrik Wergeland
Henrik Wergeland
Henrik Arnold Thaulow Wergeland was a Norwegian writer, most celebrated for his poetry but also a prolific playwright, polemicist, historian, and linguist...

's former home, "Grotten
Grotten , is an honorary residence owned by the Norwegian state. It is located on the premises of the Royal Palace in the city centre of Oslo, and given as a permanent residence to a person specifically bestowed this honour by the King of Norway. The most recent occupant was the Norwegian composer...

" ("The Grotto"), as an honorary residence. He died in Oslo.

Sinding's publishers required from him piano and chamber music, which has broader sales than the symphonic works he preferred. His own instrument was the violin. The large number of short, lyrical piano
The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

 pieces and song
In music, a song is a composition for voice or voices, performed by singing.A song may be accompanied by musical instruments, or it may be unaccompanied, as in the case of a cappella songs...

s that Sinding wrote has led to many seeing him as the heir to his fellow countryman, Edvard Grieg
Edvard Grieg
Edvard Hagerup Grieg was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor, for his incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt , and for his collection of piano miniatures Lyric Pieces.-Biography:Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born in...

, not so much in musical style but as a Norwegian composer with an international reputation. After his first piano sonata was premiered, a critic complained that it was "too Norwegian". Though Sinding is said to have replied that the next one would be even more so, specifically Norwegian folk-elements are not prominent in his richly contrapuntal post-Wagnerian orchestral style.

Sinding is best remembered today for one of his piano works, Frühlingsrauschen
Frühlingsrauschen, Op. 32, No. 3 is a solo piano piece written by the Norwegian composer Christian Sinding in 1896...

(Rustles of Spring, 1896). Among his other works are four symphonies
A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, scored almost always for orchestra. A symphony usually contains at least one movement or episode composed according to the sonata principle...

, three violin concerto
Violin concerto
A violin concerto is a concerto for solo violin and instrumental ensemble, customarily orchestra. Such works have been written since the Baroque period, when the solo concerto form was first developed, up through the present day...

s, a piano concerto
Piano concerto
A piano concerto is a concerto written for piano and orchestra.See also harpsichord concerto; some of these works are occasionally played on piano...

, chamber music
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

, songs and choral works to Norwegian texts, and an opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

, Der Heilige Berg (The Holy Mountain, 1914).

Eight weeks before his death in 1941, Sinding joined the Norwegian Nazi party, Nasjonal Samling. Because it was official practice for the postwar national broadcasting monopoly to boycott people seen as Nazi sympathisers, Sinding's reputation in Norway is now relatively obscure. The circumstances surrounding the composer's membership continue to raise controversy. Sinding had made several remarks against the occupation, had fought for the rights of Jewish musicians during the early 1930s, was a close friend of the war hero Nordahl Grieg, and had suffered from severe senile dementia since the late 1930s. The Nazis had strong motivation to recruit Sinding, as he was tremendously popular before the war – particularly in Norway and Germany, and the party paid his fees.

Frühlingsrauschen, Op. 32, No. 3 is a solo piano piece written by the Norwegian composer Christian Sinding in 1896...

" ("Rustles of Spring") was quoted by Meredith Willson
Meredith Willson
Robert Meredith Willson was an American composer, songwriter, conductor and playwright, best known for writing the book, music and lyrics for the hit Broadway musical The Music Man...

 in his musical The Music Man
The Music Man
The Music Man is a musical with book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson, based on a story by Willson and Franklin Lacey. The plot concerns con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys' band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to naive townsfolk before skipping town with...

, was one of the main themes of Dennis Potter
Dennis Potter
Dennis Christopher George Potter was an English dramatist, best known for The Singing Detective. His widely acclaimed television dramas mixed fantasy and reality, the personal and the social. He was particularly fond of using themes and images from popular culture.-Biography:Dennis Potter was born...

's 1986 miniseries The Singing Detective
The Singing Detective
The Singing Detective is a BBC television miniseries written by Dennis Potter, which stars Michael Gambon, and was directed by Jon Amiel. The six episodes were "Skin", "Heat", "Lovely Days", "Clues", "Pitter Patter" and "Who Done It"....

, and was sampled by hip-hop producer
Hip hop music
Hip hop music, also called hip-hop, rap music or hip-hop music, is a musical genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted...

 4th Disciple
4th Disciple
Selwin Bougard, now known as El-Divine Amir Bey, better known by his stage name 4th Disciple, is a hip hop producer and engineer who was one of the founding members of Killarmy and one of the best-known Wu-Tang-affiliated producers.- Biography :...

 on Killarmy
Killarmy is a hip hop group, also known through its affiliation with the Wu-Tang Clan It is one of the earliest and most successful of the many Wu-Tang affiliates along with Sunz of Man....

's track "Wu-Renegades
Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars
Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars is the debut from Wu-Tang affiliate Killarmy. The group consists of six MCs: Killa Sin, Beretta 9, Islord, 9th Prince, P.R. Terrorist , and ShoGun Assasson; and one producer, 4th Disciple, who produced the majority of the album...

." A hundred years ago it enjoyed a vogue, along with other now-forgotten pieces like Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Russian: Пётр Ильи́ч Чайко́вский ; often "Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky" in English. His names are also transliterated "Piotr" or "Petr"; "Ilitsch", "Il'ich" or "Illyich"; and "Tschaikowski", "Tschaikowsky", "Chajkovskij"...

's Chant sans paroles, Anton Rubinstein
Anton Rubinstein
Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein was a Russian-Jewish pianist, composer and conductor. As a pianist he was regarded as a rival of Franz Liszt, and he ranks amongst the great keyboard virtuosos...

's Melody in F, Xaver Scharwenka
Xaver Scharwenka
Franz Xaver Scharwenka was a German pianist, composer and teacher. He was the brother of Philipp Scharwenka , who was also a composer and teacher of music.- Life and career :...

's Polonaise in E-flat minor, Paderewski
Ignacy Jan Paderewski
Ignacy Jan Paderewski GBE was a Polish pianist, composer, diplomat, politician, and the second Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland.-Biography:...

's Minuet in G
Minuet in G (Paderewski)
The Minuet in G, Op. 14/1, is a short piano composition by Ignacy Jan Paderewski, which became world-famous, overshadowing his more major works such as the Symphony in B minor "Polonia", the Piano Concerto in A minor, and the opera Manru....

and Ignace Leybach
Ignace Leybach
Ignace Xavier Joseph Leybach was a teacher, pianist and organist, and a composer of salon piano music....

's Fifth Nocturne, all of which were invariably found in collections with titles like "World's Greatest Piano Pieces." Today little of this music is heard.

Sinding was appointed a Commander of the Order of Vasa
Order of Vasa
The Royal Order of Vasa was a Swedish Royal order of chivalry, awarded to citizens of Sweden for service to state and society especially in the fields of agriculture, mining and commerce. It was instituted on 29 May 1772 by King Gustav III of Sweden...

. In 1916, he became a Commander, and in 1938, a Grand Cross, of the Order of St. Olav.

External links

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