Dedicated to the Performance Of Traditional Norwegian Hardanger Fiddle (Hardingfele) Music
Norway’s National Folk Instrument
The Hardanger fiddle (Hardingfele in Norwegian) is similar to the violin. Decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay and black pen-and-ink drawings, called rosing, it is topped with the carved head of a dragon. Its most distinguishing feature is the four or five sympathetic strings that run underneath the fingerboard which add echoing overtones to the sound. The instrument originated in the area around the Hardanger fjord of Norway and the oldest known fiddle dates to around 1651.
Hardingfele made by Ron Poast
Olav Jørgen Hegge
Founder of the Twin Cities Hardingfelelag in 1996, Norwegian master fiddler Olav Jørgen Hegge of Valdres, Norway was regarded by many as the leading tradition bearer of the Hardanger fiddle and the dance style from the Valdres valley in Norway. He played and danced for more than 35 years. Olav was a music and dance judge at local and regional competitions and judged the national competition in Hardanger fiddling. He taught Hardanger fiddle at the University of Oslo and at the Ole Bull Academy in Voss in Western Norway. In 1994 he was featured in a Norwegian television program and an hour-long program was devoted to him on Norwegian radio in 1995. He was a recipient of the 1996 Saga Prize awarded by Saga Petroleum, naming him as a master teacher for a young musician.
With his wife, Mary, of St. Paul, MN, Olav taught dance from the Valdres region of Norway at workshops in Norway, Sweden and the United States. Olav Jørgen Hegge’s untimely death on August 26, 2005 has strengthened our resolve to continue the Hardanger fiddle tradition he so lovingly taught .
Top Row: Jan Ulvin, Rachel Ulvin, Marybeth Stull Seated: Leiv Solberg, NRK
Bottom Row: Kari Loing, Mary Seim, Helen Loing
Not Pictured: Tom Sjoberg, Joe Olson
If you'd like to join us or for further information, contact:
The Twin Cities Hardingfelelag draws its members from all ability levels, from beginners to persons with classical violin background. It provides dance music at Scandinavian dances and events in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul and greater Minnesota such as: Scandinavian Ball, Syttende Mai Festival, Norway Day, Nisswa-Stämman, Scandinavian Folkmusic Festival, Minneapolis Arts Festival (Paynesville, MN) Ethnic Festival In May 2005. The group was featured on the Norwegian NRK radio program “Alltid Folkemusikk”. In June 2006 the group will make its first trip to Beitostølen, Norway to participate in the annual Landskappleik, a competition in dance and Hardanger fiddle.
The Twin Cities Hardingfelelag plays gammaldans and bydgedans music from Norway -dance music with asymmetric rhythms. Their repertoire includes tunes in many folk music dance styles including valdresspringar, telespringar,vals,pols, gangar,reinlender, rudl, and bruremarsj.