HIS name is famous world-wide as one of the best loved classical composers, but also holds a clue to his Scottish ancestry.

Now the music of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and his links to Scotland - his great-grandfather Alexander Greig was a Scot - is to be celebrated in a new festival in Aberdeenshire.

The Grieg Society of Scotland, which last year oversaw the conservation of the historic gravestone of the composer's Scottish ancestors, are planning the new festival as part of a series of activities to raise further awareness of the links between Scotland and the composer.

Grieg, who lived from 1843 to 1907, was one of the leading composers of the Romantic era, his repertoire - such as his famous music for Peer Gynt and his piano concerto - a standard in orchestras across the world.

This week the Grieg Society, which is still endeavouring the secure the future of the gravestone of his ancestors in Rathen Old Kirkyard, near Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, have released a new film and 3D model of the stone.

Dr Sally Garden, honorary director of the society, said that it is now considering a new festival, to last a day or more, to celebrate the links between Scotland, Grieg, and Norway.

She added: "Thematically, the festival will follow the inspirations of Edvard Grieg and his wife, singer Nina Grieg – linking music, landscape and language – inspirations we have a natural feel for in Scotland, not least in the linguistically fertile North East.

"We hope to have a main musical event featuring a ‘name from Norway’, an event for children, and a number of other activities.

"We have discussed with the Church and local community plans for an initial one day or day and a half festival, in the first instance to see how things go, and what could be established.

"There’s a lot of general support for the ideas we’ve shared, but it will take time, working closely with the community, to translate concept into practical plan."

Grieg's great grandfather settled in Norway in 1770, and became a businessman in Bergen.

The composer once said: "My great-grandfather was a Scot, and if my works have achieved a popularity which is incomprehensible to me, the reason is surely not only to be found in the national element, but perhaps rather in the fusion of cosmopolitan and national elements."

The gravestone in Rathen Old Kirkyard commemorates Grieg’s great, great grandparents, John Greig and his wife Ann Milne, two of whose sons, Alexander - the composer’s great grandfather - and James emigrated to Norway.

The conservation effort last year was carried out by Spectrum Heritage, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and Bergen philanthropist Per Grieg, of the Grieg family.

Johanne Grieg Kippenbroeck, the Honorary President, Grieg Society of Scotland and member of the Grieg family said: "The Griegs in Norway are very proud of Edvard Grieg, of course, but we are also proud of our Scottish ancestry.

"The job that has been done to literally rescue the gravestone of John Greig and Ann Milne, our and Edvard Grieg’s ancestors in Scotland, is marvellous.

"Another year and it would probably have been too late. The Grieg Society of Scotland does a wonderful job both for Grieg – and also for Bergen and Norway."

The society hope the new film and 3D model will "provide an accessible and enjoyable resource for everyone to understand and value the North Sea network of family and cultural ties which still, today, links Scotland with her Scandinavian neighbours."

Dr Garden said that if the conservation effort of last year had been any later, some of the damage to the stone would have been irretrievable.

She added: "We have done our best to hinder further deterioration by protecting as far as possible against surface damp. Aberdeenshire Council and Historic Environment Scotland have also been very helpful, within the constraints of what they can do, and we will monitor the stone’s condition going forward to see if anything more radical needs to be done.

"The most important outcome of our conservation work is that we have been able to create the first definitive record of the stone’s inscription, about which there has been ambiguity and a few details missed over the years."

The Society will host a weekend of community workshops at Rathen, in June.

Councillor Charles Buchan, of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “The Grieg Society of Scotland, and its director, Dr Sally Garden, has done so much to bring back into the public awareness the composer Edvard Grieg, and his connections with the village of Rathen, and surrounding farms.

"In particular, they have to be commended for having spent immense efforts on conservation work in the old Rathen Kirkyard, including the restoration of the family grave, which will be a huge addition to the heritage tourism of Rathen and the North-East.”

Clara Molina Sanchez, of Spectrum Heritage, said: “New imaging techniques like photogrammetry and RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging) help us enhance details of the surface of cultural heritage objects which we would not be able to see with the naked eye. These tools help conservators record the state of objects, and to engage with different audiences, as in the case of this gravestone, from Scotland, Norway, and all across the globe.

"We are very much looking forward to passing this knowledge on to the community at Rathen, especially to the younger generation."