Up and Coming: Scandinavian Performing Artists on the American Scene

By Mogensen, Else | Scandinavian Review, Winter 1996 | Go to article overview

Up and Coming: Scandinavian Performing Artists on the American Scene


Mogensen, Else, Scandinavian Review


In New York, artists can also be normal people," says Finnish-born dancer and choreographer Oona Haaranen, unlike in Scandinavia where the artistic circles are so small that artists easily appear "different." Maybe for that reason, many creative performers from the five Nordic countries are drawn to the United States, making an impact on the American scene in their unique approaches to the performing arts, while sharing a strong cultural connection to their native country and a solid educational background.

Multi-Talented Musician

Per Brevig, one of the world's leading trombonists, born in Halden, Norway, founded the Edvard Grieg Society in New York in 1993 to celebrate the composer's 150th anniversary; the society sponsors activities honoring Grieg and attracting attention to his music. Brevig's main interest is new music, and he feels obliged to bring Scandinavian music to the U.S. He has commissioned works by Norway's Egil Hovland and Arne Nordheim and performed them for numerous audiences, introduced young Scandinavian composers to the American public, as well as renewed the enjoyment of the music of Sibelius, Nielsen and Grieg, for which he has been awarded the Royal Norwegian Medal of St. Olav.

As a young boy, Brevig would go out into the woods and make flutes from branches years before he came to New York to attend the Juilliard School of Music, earning a doctoral degree in Musical Arts. He was principal trombonist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra from 1968 through 1994; then he decided to follow in the footsteps of his former teacher, the celebrated Swedish conductor Herbert Blomstedt. Brevig, who is already one of the best known American musicians of Norwegian origin, has been principal trombonist with such orchestras as the American Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, and Detroit Symphony. He has released recordings ranging from works by Mendelssohn and Handel to new Norwegian music, and is on the faculty of several prestigious music institutions in New York including the Julliard School. Now Brevig is earning a growing reputation as a conductor around the world. His most recent honors include a "Salute to Per Brevig" in 1996 by the New York Brass Conference and the 1995 Neill Humfeld Award for excellence in trombone teaching.

Dance Innovator

Scandinavian dancers-Peter Martins and Helgi Tomasson et. al.have long been celebrated for their work in classical ballet. Contemporary dance in the U.S. also counts innovators from the Nordic countries. Irene Hultman is a dancer and choreographer in the forefront, exploring musical possibilities in her choreography: "Traditional dance uses music as an emotional cover, i.e. music directs emotion; I see dance as a musical voice; dance is music."

Hultman, born in Borlange, Sweden, trained at the Ballet Academy in Sweden and the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York. She has worked with choreographers Margaretha Asberg and Per Jonsson in Stockholm, danced with Eske Holm in Copenhagen, and was a featured member of the Trisha Brown Company in New York for five years. Forming her own company in 1988, she has since been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in choreography and won critical acclaim both as a dancer and a choreographer. Dance critic Tobi Tobias in New York magazine said of her choreography for Cascade: "In three-second glimpses, Hultman offers ideas and feeling that more literal-minded choreographers take whole scenes to convey."

Collaborating with composers and visual artists, incorporating sculptures to interact with dancers, Hultman reinvents classical fairy tales and examines the mysteriousness of Scandinavia. Inspired by the tango of Finland, her Tango-Babe, set to music commissioned by the New YorkBuenos Aires Connection, and called a deconstruction of the tango by critics, was a hit in New York.

Inspired Performers

One of August Strindberg's key plays, The Ghost Sonata, really caught the New York audience's attention when another Swedish artist, the multi-talented Johan Petri presented his interpretation of it as a director of the Irondale Ensemble. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Up and Coming: Scandinavian Performing Artists on the American Scene
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.