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MP3 Karen Torkelson Solgĺrd - Norse Fiddle in Concert

Here are the stories, fiddle tunes and songs audiences want to remember from Norse Fiddle concerts. “As intriguing and interesting as the music is, the frame created by the stories and history are every bit as valuable.” – Concert attendee

34 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Traditional Folk, WORLD: Scandinavian

Show all album songs: Norse Fiddle in Concert Songs


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Audiences have asked for a recording of the stories, songs and tunes from the Norse Fiddle concerts by Karen SolgĂĄrd. Here it is!

Karen Solgård brings entertaining programs of Hardanger fiddle music and associated dances for community concert series, cultural groups and festivals around the country. Traditional Hardanger fiddle tunes are mixed with Karen’s own compositions and arrangements--classical favorites such as Grieg’s "Morning" and Bach’s "Musette," the 1950 hit song "The Thing," and American folk songs such as "Simple Gifts," "Yankee Doodle" and "Kentucky Babe."

Here’s what some people have said about her performances:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. A big part of what made it fun and accessible to me was the commentary; both descriptions and stories involving Norway and also the stories about Karen’s family and the origins of her interest in the music and the instrument. As intriguing and interesting as the music itself is, I think the frame created by the stories and history are every bit as valuable to the performance.”

“Karen puts on a very good show. Her conversation was interesting and very easy to understand, and the flow of music was great. Very nice humor. We just like the Hardanger fiddle sound so much, and like Karen Solgard’s presence.”

Audiences asked, and got, the fiddle tunes, songs, and stories on CD to remember and share, "Norse Fiddle in Concert."

Karen’s performances have taken her to New York City, Washington D.C., Phoenix, Chicago, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Dallas area and many large and small communities around the United States. She taught Hardanger fiddle at St. Olaf College during 2004-5 school year. Karen has been on the Young Audiences of Minnesota roster for ten years, presenting concerts, workshops and residencies in schools and for children’s groups. Performances have included festivals such as Decorah’s Nordic Fest, Moorhead’s Hjemkomst Festival, Story City (Iowa) Scandinavian Days, and Nisswa Stämma; community and college concert series and radio programs in the USA and Norway. Her two previous CDs include “Norse Fiddle at Home” and “Norse Fiddle at the Wedding” and a music book for Hardanger fiddle or violin.

Karen Torkelson SolgĂĄrd grew up on a farm north of Crookston in a musical family. Her mother and grandmother taught the children Norwegian folksongs and Karen, with two of her sisters, sang trios for events, festivals and contests. She excelled in music as a young girl, studied at the University of Minnesota School of Music in Minneapolis, and pursued a career in cello for ten years before taking up Hardanger fiddle seriously.

Ever curious about the Norwegian-style violin in the family, Karen traveled to Norway in 1986 where she heard Hardanger fiddle played by Norwegian masters for the first time. "To this day, I have a vivid memory of a concert by Knut Buen at Rauland Akademiet just down the road from my great-grandfather''s childhood home. The room was packed with local people who tapped their feet along to music that was familiar to them--and so incomprehensible, exotic, and beautiful to me."

Karen took a study trip to Vinje, Telemark, Norway, in 1998 to study with the local master Hardanger fiddler--and distant relative--Tarjei Romtveit. She learned that her grandfather had at least five cousins who played Hardanger fiddle back in Norway while only one had played it in America. (The American cousin, S.A. Olsness, wrote in his diary that when he got lonely for Norway, he would go to his room and play the old fiddle tunes for himself.)

Karen SolgĂĄrd teaches people about Hardanger fiddle, whether in concert, in school workshops and residencies, or in fiddle workshops and private lessons. It was a family tradition lost after her grandparent''s generation and she has been active with HFAA since it began, making efforts to revive the Norwegian folk music and dance traditions in the United States. Karen has served HFAA as Sound Post editor, vice president, and workshop teacher and coordinator.
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