Born: 8 December 1832
Died: 26 April 1910
Bjørnstjerne Martinus Bjørnson was a Norwegian writer and the 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. Bjørnson is considered as one of "The Great Four" Norwegian writers; the others being Henrik Ibsen, Jonas Lie, and Alexander Kielland. He is celebrated for his lyrics to the Norwegian National Anthem, "Ja, vi elsker dette landet".
Bjørnson was born at the farmstead of Bjørgen in Kvikne, a secluded village in the Østerdalen district, some sixty miles south of Trondheim. In 1837 Bjørnson's father, who was the pastor of Kvikne, was transferred to the parish of Nesset, outside Molde in Romsdal. It was in this scenic district that Bjørnson spent his childhood. After a few years studying in the neighboring city Molde, Bjørnson was sent to Heltbergs Studentfabrikk in Christiania to prepare for university, at the age of 17. He had realized that he wanted to pursue his talent for poetry (he had written verses since age eleven). Bjørnson matriculated at the University of Oslo in 1852, soon embarking upon a career as a journalist, focusing on criticism of drama.
View the Wikipedia article on Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.
Settings of his poetic works
- Aftnen er stille (Agathe Backer-Grøndahl)
- Bøn og Tempeldans (from 'Olav Trygvason', Op. 50) (Edvard Grieg)
- Kongekvadet, Op. 22, No. 1 (Edvard Grieg)
- Landkjending, Op. 31 (Edvard Grieg)
- Lok, Op. 61, No. 3 (Edvard Grieg)
- Norrønafolket, Op. 22, No. 2 (Edvard Grieg)
- Olav Trygvason (Friedrich August Reissiger)
- Olav Trygvason (Rikard Nordraak)
- Syng mig hjæm (Edmund Neupert)