Northern Dances

You are now entering our world of Scandinavian epic folk music with large church organ and nyckelharpa. The traditional Swedish folk instrument nyckelharpa origins from the 16:th century, and its Baroque like fragile sound is happily embraced by the delicate wind instruments, or the bells, of the organ. Or carried, like a flying eagle, over a majestic landscape with deep forest and high mountains, by a powerful Northern wind... The realm of folk dance is a fascinating soundscape of irregular pulse, ostinato like melody figures and improvised sections. The melodic and rhythmic variations are equally rich both in the musical tradition and in the tradition of hundreds of different types of dances... Majestic power, raw energy, clear elegance and meditation meet in a extatic musical dance that will take you to places you never visited. 

Erik Rydvall

Nyckelharpa player Erik Rydvall has steadily risen to stardom on the Swedish folk-music scene. His personal expression, virtuosity, and drive to seek out new challenges has made him a highly sought-after musician, often for cross-genre collaboration. 

While at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Erik Rydvall was one of the founders of the folk-music trio Nordic, winner of multiple prizes. Later, with Norwegian Hardanger fiddler Olav Luksengård Mjelva, the Rydvall/Mjelva duo was formed. Most recently, Erik Rydvall, Olav L. Mjelva and British violinist Max Baillie banded together to forge new ties between Scandinavian folk and baroque music in Lodestar Trio. 

Erik Rydvall is ever venturing into new territories. He toured with the Flamencos en route dance company, performed with the Danish National Girls’ Choir, the NorrlandsOperan Symphony Orchestra, Dalasinfoniettan and world music’s primary promoter in Sweden, Ale Möller. Erik Rydvall’s most recent project, playing Bach’s partitas for violin and suites for cello on nyckelharpa, has attracted an audience beyond folk music and interest the world over.

Gunnar Idenstam

Gunnar Idenstam, concert organist, composer and folk musician, is know throughout the world for his virtuouso playing, stunning improvisations and untraditional and original take on organ music. Gunnar Idenstam aims to expand his audience's appreciation of the organ and to transcend the limitations of genre. He comes from a background of classical music, but have always had a "distant love relationship" with the folk and symphonic rock of the 1970s. Today he has brought these influences into the context of organ music when he builds bridges between French cathedral tradition, symphonic rock and Swedish folk music. In 1984 he was the first - and to date, the only - musician from northern Europe to win the prestigious international competition in improvisation, the "Grand Prix de Chartres". Since 1986 he has pursued an international career as a concert organist. In 2012 he was awarded the “Interpreter of the year” prize by the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. The Prize was presented to him by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden. In June 2013 he received the Litteris et Artibus – a royal medal for recognition of eminent skills in the artistic field. Idenstam is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music since May 2013. His latest solo CD is of his own music Metal Angel, recorded in in Monaco Cathedral for Toccata Classics.

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