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The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Nordraak, Rikard

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NORDRAAK, nôr'dräk, Rikard, Norwegian composer: b. Christiania, 12 June 1842; d. Berlin, 20 March 1866. He was a piano pupil of Kiel and Kullak in Berlin. At a very early period in his life he turned his attention to the study of Norwegian folksongs and composed music to the national hymn, “Ja, vi elsker dette landet,” written by his cousin, Björnstjerne Björnson (1832-1910). In 1864 he met Grieg and inspired him with the idea of devoting his genius to Norwegian melody and the cultivation of a specifically national art. He wrote incidental music to Björnson's dramas of ‘Mary Stuart’ and ‘Sigurd Slembe,’ piano pieces and songs.