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Professor Einar Steen-Nøkleberg


Teaching Languages

_ English, German,     

   Scandinavian, French


Former Piano Professor at

University of Music, Drams and Media

Hannover, Germany

Einar Steen-Nøkleberg is a leading Norwegian pianist, having made continuous international appearances and more than 50 recordings. He studied with Nicolai Dirdal and Hans Leygraf.

Among other prizes and distinctions, some of the most important are the German Hochschulwettbewerb, the Norwegian Piano Competition in 1972, the Norwegian Critics' Prize for Best Performance in 1975 (for the interpretation in Grieg's Piano Concerto at the Bergen Festival), the Norwegian Recording of the Year in 1976 for a recital of Norwegian Baroque Composers, the Lindeman Prize ("Performer of the Year") 1984, the Grieg Prize in 1985 (Bergen) and 1992 (Oslo). He is a Knight of the St. Olav Order, appointed by the King of Norway for his activities for Norwegian music in general.

From 1975 to 1981 Einar Steen-Nøkleberg was Professor of Piano at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Hannover, Germany, an appointment which made him Germany's youngest professor.

Einar Steen-Nøkleberg's international career has included repeated solo recitals in London, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Moscow, Mexico City, New York, Hamburg and Copenhagen. He toured the U.S.A. and the former Soviet Union several times. Concerto appearances include the London Symphony Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Copenhagen Royal Chapel, the China Philharmonic, Beijing, the Yumiori Philharmonic Orchestra and the NHK in Tokyo and the Oslo and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestras in Norway. His recording of the Grieg Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra was chosen by the BBC Saturday Review as the best version of this much-recorded concerto.

His recently released monumental recording of all Grieg's piano music, a 14 CD set, for Naxos Records is recieving international acclaim. He is currently publishing H. Kjerulf piano works (3 CD's) on Simax, and H. Saeverud piano works (5 CD's) on  Naxos.


Einar Steen-Nøkleberg has had an extensive teaching career since 1970. First as professor in Hannover, later in Oslo, and again in Hannover since 1994. He gives regular master classes at Mozarteum, Salzburg and in Paris at Institut Cortôt École Normale, as well as courses in Japan, China, USA, Mexico, Brasil, Russia and Scandinavia.

Juror work

Einar Steen-Nøkleberg has judged piano competitions such as Busoni(Bolzano), Monza and Trani in Italy, the Bachauer(Salt Lake City), Cleveland, William Kapell and Palm Beach in the U.S.A, as well as various competitions throughout Europe, including the Schumann Competition in Düsseldorf, Epinal, Bremen, Nyborg and EBU(European Broadcast Union), Lisbon.


"Onstage with Grieg" (A study in interpretation of Griegs piano works)

Reading "Onstage with Grieg" is almost like taking a private lesson with Einar Steen-Nøkleberg, internationally acclaimed recitalist and premier interpreter of Grieg. He offers not only practical advice on the technical executions of these pieces, but great insights into their compositional background. Grieg drew much of his inspiration from Norwegian folk music, casting many piano pieces in the form of traditional dances, using the piano to present the narratives in Norwegian poetry and ancient songs, and imitating the sound of folk instruments. Steen-Nøkleberg details these traits, pointing out Grieg's frequent use of open fifths, pedal points and modal scales.

In addition to treating each of the shorter pieces individually, including the ten collections of Lyric Pieces, the author suggests architectural interpretations on a larger scale for the massive cycles of Op. 66 and 72. He devotes a lengthy chapter to the Piano Concerto in A Minor, which is a must for every Norwegian pianist. With great enthusiasm for his country and its heritage, Steen-Nøkleberg finds reflections of the Norwegian landscape in Grieg's music - the impressive fiords, the deep forests and the special summer light.

"Onstage with Grieg" gives invaluable advice to pianists at all levels of achievement - students, teachers and profesional performers.

  • Norwegian original on Solum Forlag, Oslo

  • English Translation on Indiana University Press, Bloomington & Indianapolis

  • German translation on Peter Lang Verlag, Frankfurt

  • Russian translation on Musika (Verzhe-AV Edition), Moscow


Editor and co-editor of Griegs Piano Music on Gustav Henle Verlag, Münich. (Grieg: Sonata, Ballade, Holberg Suite, 17 Peasant Dances Op. 72, Lyric pieces Op. 12, 38, 43, 54 and 65) In preparation: Piano Concerto and Sonata for violin and piano Op 45.

Editor of Norwegian Baroque Music(Wernicke) and Grieg Piano Concerto(faximile) on Universitesforlaget, Olso.


Einar Steen-Nøkleberg is the founder and president of the Norwegian section of the EPTA(European Piano Teachers Association) and the Oslo Grieg Society, the Grieg Memorial Composers Competitions(held annually since 1994) and the Concours Grieg for pianists in Oslo, Norway(held annually since 2000).

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