2009 Workshop Staff

Hardanger Fiddle Teachers

Hauk Buen

Hauk Buen is a Norwegian national treasure. During his long career as a fiddler he has won innumerable competitions, prizes and awards, culminating in the award in 2003 of the King's Medal of Honor in gold from King Harald and Queen Sonja in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Norwegian folk music. He has performed throughout Europe and the U.S.; some highlights were concerts with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in Jerusalem, at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., and at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. Hauk's dance fiddling is prized as highly as his concert playing; when Hauk opens his fiddle case at a dance, people are already on their feet before he has finished tightening his bow. Hauk is also a master hardingfele maker whose instruments have been used by national championship winners and he will be bringing instruments that students may wish to consider for purchase.

Kenneth de Gala, who grew up in Kongsberg (Buskerud county), started playing hardingfele at the age of ten, studying first with Anne Svånaug Haugan and later chiefly with Øystein Ellefsen and Hauk Buen. He specializes in the traditions of both Telemark and Numedal. Acclaimed for his dance music, Kenneth has twice been awarded the prize for best dance fiddling at the Landskappleik, Norway's national folk music and dance competition. He is also an excellent dancer. Now living and working in Oslo where he plays for weekly dances, Kenneth regularly travels back to Jondalen to play for the Småjondølene dance group and to Kongsberg to play with the Kongsberg Spelemannslag and teach his numerous young students. Kenneth has been invited to the U.S. many times, performing at Høstfest and playing and teaching at workshops in Nebraska, New England and New York.

Kenneth de Gala playing Hardanger fiddle
Andrea Een playing Hardanger Fiddle

Andrea Een acquired her expertise on the Hardanger fiddle from master fiddlers in Voss, Telemark, and Setesdal. She is a music professor at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, teaching Hardanger fiddle, violin, and viola. In May 2002, Een received the Saint Olav Medal from King Harald of Norway and the Norwegian government in recognition of her services in the promotion of wider knowledge of Norwegian culture. Her solo CD, From the Valley, combines her original fiddle solos with traditional dances and tone poems from West Norway. A second CD, Winter Dreams, is due out soon. Een was a featured soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra in December 2008, playing the final movement of Peter Hamlin's Hardanger Concerto. 

Rachel Nesvig graduated from St. Olaf College in 2007 with Honors in Music. She was the first St. Olaf student to give a Distinction Recital in Hardanger fiddle. Rachel started playing violin at the age of 8; before college she played violin with the Gig Harbor (WA) Spelemannslag. She discovered the Hardanger fiddle at a master class given by Karin Code. At St. Olaf she studied with Andrea Een and Karen Solgård and attended master classes given by Annbjørg Lien and Arne Anderdal. She spent half her junior year in Norway, studying classical and jazz violin at the Music Conservatory of the University of Stavanger, playing Hardanger fiddle with the Vibå Spelemannslag and taking private lessons from Dag Hovde. Rachel is currently working for her master's in Violin Performance and her K-12 teaching certificate at Central Washington University.

Rachel Nesvig holding Hardanger fiddle

Dance Teachers

Olav Sem

Olav Sem, from Heddal in Telemark, learned to dance “in tradition” as a child. He has been a sought-after teacher in Norway for most of his life, and during the past 20 years has also earned high respect in America for his masterful presentation of Telemark dance at numerous camps and workshops. Olav has a wide repertoire of traditional vocal material from the Telemark kveding tradition that includes bygdeviser and stev, as well as slåttestev, which he sings for dancing. He has been a competitor and a judge in both dance and singing at local kappleiks and at the Landskappleik. An inspiring teacher and charismatic entertainer, Olav shares a lifetime of stories and experience with his classes.

Seljefløyte (Willow Flute)

Toby Weinberg playing seljefløyte

Toby Weinberg, founder and leader of the Boston Spelemannslag, is well known in the U.S. as an accomplished performer on hardingfele and as a skilled and patient teacher. Toby has taught hardingfele and seljefløyte at several HFAA workshops.