Bull, Ole

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Bull, Ole


Born Feb. 5, 1810, in Bergen; died Aug. 17, 1880, in Lysø near Bergen. Norwegian violinist, composer, and folklore scholar. One of the founders of the national music school.

Bull was mainly self-taught on the violin. He toured a great deal in Europe (including Russia, where he traveled first in 1838) and North America, performing mostly virtuoso works and his own treatments of Norwegian folk melodies and improvisations. He was continually collecting and writing down the national musical folklore. Bull’s playing was distinguished by its immediacy of feeling and its virtuosity. In 1850, in Bergen, he founded Norway’s first national theater, the National Stage (playwrights H. Ibsen and B. Bjørnson worked there for some time). He exercised an influence on E. Grieg and was the author of works for the violin and music for the theater. Not many works by Bull have been preserved (two concertos for violin with orchestra, variations, and a number of pieces for violin). The popular piece The Dairymaid’s Sunday anticipates several works of Grieg.


Iampol’skii, I. “Ule Bull’ (k 150-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia).” In Sovetskaia muzyka, 1960, no. 5.
Botkin, V. P. “Ole Bull’ (Stat’i o muzyke).” In Sochineniia, vol. 3. St. Petersburg, 1893. Pages 25-38.
Smith, M. B. The Life of Ole Bull. Princeton, 1943. (In Norwegian, Oslo, 1948.)
Hopp, Z. Evantyret om Ole Bull. Bergen, 1945.
Schuberud, Mentz. Ole Bull. Oslo, 1960.