A public concert as part of our annual ‘Harpas at Halsway’ Nyckelharpa Festival. Our three tutors – Vicki Swan (UK), Magnus Holmström (Sweden) and Josefina Paulson (Sweden) – head-up a showcase of the instrument with guest performers too.
The Nyckelharpa is a traditional Swedish keyed fiddle, an expressive and versatile instrument which is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity in the UK, across Europe and beyond. Tonight’s concert is a great opportunity to see – and hear – it in the hands of three of Europe’s foremost exponents.
Vicki Swan (UK) graduated from the Royal College of Music on double bass, specialising in performance. Well known on the British folk scene she is a full time folk musician performing on nyckelharpa, bagpipes and singing. Being half Swedish the nyckelharpa was a natural choice to add to her armory of instruments and is now leading the development of the nyckelharpa in Great Britain with the UK Nyckelharpa Project and spearheaded the newly formed UK Nyckelharpa Society. In addition to various duo recordings Vicki has recently published the ‘British Session Tunes for Nyckelharpa’ and also a book of Duets in the Swedish Style. Vicki is a qualified teacher, specialising in instrumental teaching and has a masters in Education (specialising in distance tuition on the Scottish smallpipes) and composes and arranges music for the nyckelharpa and other ensembles. She was a member of the ENCORE (European Nyckelharpa Co-operation – Orchestral Experience) in 2013 and a tutor on the International Nyckelharpa Days in Germany in 2014 and 2105.
Magnus Holmström, Sigtuna (Sweden), is a professional nyckelharpa player and an experienced teacher. He studied at the Eric Sahlström Institute in Tobo and at the Royal Collage of Music in Stockholm. In 2004, he won the World championships with “Gammelharpa” (old style nyckelharpa) and in 2006 both with “Gammelharpa” and modern nyckelharpa. In 2006, he also won the award; “musician of honour” at Burträsksvängen and in 2008 the Bror Hjorth Scholarship. He is a regular tutor at the International Nyckelharpa Days in Germany.
Josefina Paulson (Sweden) has been playing the nyckelharpa since 1992 and has developed a deep knowledge of the traditional music from Västmanland where she grew up. She has been touring as a soloist all around the world. In 2008 she was awarded the title “riksspelman” from the Zorn jury and in 2011 she received the honourable “Bror Hjorth Scholarship” with the motivation “technically brilliant, very committed performance on the nyckelharpa with both the preservation of cultural traditions and a gentle personal and creative rejuvenation”. Josefina studied on the one year course at Eric Sahlström Institutet and also has a Bachelors degree in music, with nyckelharpa as her first study from the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. She was nominated as artist of the year at the “Folk and World Music Award” in 2016 and received the title “World Champion of Modern Nyckelharpa” in Österbybruk in June 2016.