Fiddle Teachers and Performers

Hauk Buen

Hauk Buen playing Hardanger fiddle

Hauk Buen is a Norwegian national treasure. Hauk won the Norwegian National Competition in Hardanger fiddle in 1962 and 1963, as well as many other prizes and honors in Norway. Hauk was the subject of an hour-long program on Norwegian television in 1983. In 1992 he won the Spelemannspris (Norwegian equivalent of the Grammy) for best folk music recording. Hauk's concert appearances include the Edinburgh Folk Festival; South Bank Summer Music Festival in London, England; Sofia, Bulgaria; Festival '91 in Chartres, France; two concerts with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in Jerusalem; National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.; 1994 Winter Olympics, Lillehammer, Norway; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; New England Conservatory of Music, Boston. Hauk will be teaching a workshop in Hardanger fiddling from the Telemark region of Norway at AmeriKappleik, plus performing in several solo and group concerts.

Leif Rygg

Leif Rygg is famous throughout Norway as one of the most accomplished virtuosos of the Hardanger fiddle today. He has won the Norwegian National Competition three times, as well as innumerable smaller competitions, and is in high demand as a concert player. He teaches at the Ole Bull Academy in Voss as well as teaching and performing professionally for Hordaland county as a member of their folk music group. He has also performed in a number of foreign music festivals and performed at the Nordic Fest in Decorah, Iowa, leading a troupe of musicians and dancers from Voss. Leif will be teaching a workshop in Hardanger fiddling from the Voss region of Norway at AmeriKappleik, plus performing in several solo and group concerts.

Leif Rygg playing Hardanger fiddle

Vidar Lande

Vidar Lande playing Hardanger fiddle

Vidar Lande is recognized not only as one of the best Hardanger fiddle players in Norway, but as an award-winning researcher and collector who has accumulated a vast store of tunes and knowledge from his home area of Bygland in central Setesdal. Vidar is in demand as a judge in fiddling competitions and has performed throughout Norway and the USA, including Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion radio program. He has taught at the University of Oslo, and currently teaches folk music at the Telemark Høgskulen in Bø and also at the two-year program in folk music at Rauland in Telemark. He has produced six CDs, including two of his own playing, and was also featured on the CD, "Norway: Fiddle Music from Agder," from the UNESCO Collection of Musics and Musicians of the World. He is also the author of three landmark collections of Hardanger fiddle transcriptions. Vidar is a three-time recipient of the Norwegian state traveling grant for artists, and winner of the Norwegian Folk Music Association's prize for 2002. Vidar will be teaching a workshop in Hardanger fiddling from the Setesdal region of Norway at AmeriKappleik, and will be performing in concerts and presenting a lecture on Norwegian-American fiddlers in the USA.

Bernt Balchen, Jr.

Bernt Balchen Jr. playing Hardanger fiddle

Bernt Balchen, Jr. has been one of the primary contributors to the revival of the Hardanger fiddling tradition in the U.S. He wrote and produced a three-volume set of instructional videos and accompanying manuals for the Hardanger fiddle in English, the first such purely in English and by far the most comprehensive in any language. He has frequently taught at the annual workshops of the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America. Bernt has been the leader of the Laget for Folkemusikk (Folk Music Association) in Oslo for the past dozen years and is one of the founding members of the Norwegian Traditional Music and Dance Association. His playing has been recorded by Norwegian National Broadcasting (NRK) radio. Bernt will be teaching a workshop in Hardanger fiddling from the Valdres region of Norway at AmeriKappleik plus performing.

Karin Code

Karin Code holding Hardanger fiddle

Karin Loberg Code, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, has spent two years living in Norway studying and performing for concerts and local dance groups in Oslo. She is a regular fiddler at dance workshops in this country. Karin has focused primarily on the music of Hallingdal and Valdres.

Elizabeth Foster

Elizabeth Foster, of Bainbridge Island, Washington, lived in Gol, Norway, for four years where she taught piano, violin, and hardingfele in the local music schools. While there she learned from various fiddlers in the area and played in the Hemsedal Spelemannslag and the Hallingdal Låtelag. Elizabeth has led and taught various Scandinavian music groups in the Seattle area since the early 1980's.

Toby Weinberg

Toby Weinberg playing Hardanger fiddle

Toby Weinberg, of the Boston area, is the leader of the hardingfele group there, as well as a performer and teacher at workshops throughout the United States. In 2001, he led the group to Norway to perform at the Porsgrund Kappleik, where he also placed. Toby's main focus is the traditions of Telemark, and he will offer instruction on hardingfele and seljefløyte.

Torgeir Straand

Torgeir Straand, from Bø, Telemark, is among the most brilliant of the younger generation of hardingfele players. As a teenager he apprenticed himself to Anund Roheim, the greatest Norwegian-American hardingfele player of the last half of the 20th century. Anund, who had spent most of his life in Montana, had retired and returned to his home town of Bø, where he met Torgeir and taught him almost his entire repertory. Anund Roheim died in Bø in 1999. Torgeir will play a concert in memory of Anund Roheim, performing many of Anund's favorite tunes and talking about his life as a fiddler.

Torgeir Straand playing Hardanger fiddle