The 1990, 1992, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 year Nyckelharpa World Championships

For the 1996 and 2002, 2003 years championships - see separate pages

Photos Esbjörn Hogmark and Gunnar Fredelius

1990 The first Nyckelharpa World Championships

were taking place in Österbybruk 16-17 June 1990. Österby Folkdanslag arranged the competitions. Gunnar Ahlbäck and Anders Söderberg - two of the men who initiated the nyckelharpa stämma back in 1975 decided that it was time start a competition for nyckelharpa players.

It was Gunnar Fredelius idea to name it "the World Championships". He was inspired by the fact that Eric Sahlström was often called the World Champion. The competition was thought to make propaganda for the instrument as well as the men and women who participated. The name would also point out that even if it originally was played in this small part of the world; it is now being played in several countries in all continents.

Members of the Jury were Chairman Gunnar Ahlbäck, Anton Jernberg, Professor Jan Ling, Sigurd Sahlström and Curt Tallroth.

There was a very high quality at the starting field.

On modern nyckelharpa: Andersson Ditte, Berglund Ragnar, Bernström Rickard, Gille Hasse, Hedlund Peter "Puma", Hertzberg Ola, Hogmark Esbjörn; Hogmark Sture, Johansson Olov, Södergren Kurt and Thalén Roland,

On "gammelharpa" : Bergman Arne, Björn Björn, Catarina Björn, Gille Hasse, Hedlund Peter "Puma", Johansson Olov, Jörpeland Ingvar, Landström Kjell, Nordfors Anders, Södergren Kurt,

A couple of them participated in both classes.

Olov Johansson, born 1966 in Tärnsjö, Uppland, has played nyckelharpa since the age of 13. For most of us he was unknown up to this point. He knocked the jury as well as the audience of their feet. He won in both classes. That is something no one has ever been able to copy.
He said to the press: the only way to get people interested in the nyckelharpa and folk music, is to play so ### good that they do not have a chance to hit back. Often folk music is being presented in a boring manner. You shall not be untouched after a concert... Olof has in the years since shown that he is the man who put force behind these words

Olov and his teacher Curt Tallroth. Photo Gunnar Fredelius


Stockholm 1992

The second time the World championships were held was in Stockholm, Tingsvallen at Skansen
This time the audience was given the opportunity to vote for the winner in a competition along sides the ordinary competition. The favourite of the audience. Photo Gunnar F

Jury: Gunnar Ahlbäck, Sigurd Sahlström, Anders Liljefors och Curt Tallroth.

Sture Hogmark. Photo GF


Modern nyckelharpa: Alpsjö Leif, Andersson Ditte, Berglund Ragnar, Hedlund Peter "Puma", Hertzberg Ola, Hogmark Esbjörn, Hogmark Sture, Lindqvist Jane, Mattsson Anders, Roswall Niklas,

Peter Berg from London, moraharpa. Photo GF

Gammelharpa: Berg Peter, London on moraharpa, Styrbjörn Bergelt silverbasharpa, Gille Hasse silverbasharpa, Hogmark Esbjörn silverbasharpa, Jinder Curt silverbasharpa, Jörpeland Ingvar silverbasharpa, Lena Jörpeland silverbasharpa, Nordfors Anders kontrabasharpa and Kurt Södergren.

Styrbjörn Bergelt and Esbjörn Hogmark waiting for the results

Hasse Gille was announced the champion in the Gammelharpklassen while Peter Puma Hedlund became the "modern" nyckelharpa champion

Anders Mattsson got the most votes as "the favourite"

Anders Mattsson receives his price handed over by Gunnar Fredelius. Photo: Per-Ulf Allmo



Linköping 1994

Photos: Per Ulf Allmo - taken from a magazine..

The gammelharpa class

Kjell Landström, Styrbjörn Bergelt,

.Esbjörn Hogmark and Curt Jinder - sorry no pictures from the occasion

Per Furå, Lena Jörpeland. Bengt Andersson, Ingvar Jörpeland.

Modern class

Bo Lindström, Nicklas Rosvall, Sture Hogmark , Ola Hertzberg, Peter Puma Hedlund, Ditte Andersson and Anders Mattsson

Anders said "I´ve been in the army. I have had wisdom teeth drawn out, I´ve gotten married - and then I get into this kind of thing" and then he began to play.


Then Per Furå (above) came back, now to play modern harpa. And so did Esbjörn Hogmark

Jury: Nisse Nordström, Curt Tallroth, Ole Hjort, Gunnar Ahlbäck and Gunnar Fredelius

The audiences favourite

Anders Mattson became a second time winner of the title and thereby the winner of a Zither. We should have asked Gottfrid Johanssons Music Shop for another price this year - just in case...

The Jury's verdict:

The winner in the old harpa class, the gammelharpa class , was Lena Jörpeland. She had left the day before, but wisely she had asked the singer Eva Tjörnebo to be her stand in, in case she would win. So Eva received the prices and sang the "winners tune" for an enthusiastic audience.

The jury fully agreed with the audience and gave the title in the modern class to Anders Mattsson. He played his "winners tune" with his daughter clinging to his leg.


Jury: Nisse Nordström, Curt Tallroth, Ole Hjort, Gunnar Ahlbäck and Gunnar Fredelius

Congratulations to Anders and Lena!




1996 in Österbybruk

see separate page here



Stockholm 30/5 1998


Björn Björn won the gammelharpa class and Markus Svensson from Älmerud near Vänersborg in the western part of Sweden  won the title in the modern class.

Marcus also won the price were the audience votes.

The "Allspel" at Soliden, Skansen in Stockholm



1999. The Österby championships for youth

The Tobo Eric Sahlström Institute students of 1998-1999. Third from the right is Anna-Kristina Widell. Photo Esbjörn Hogmark

The first championships for young nyckelharpa players was held in Österbybruk. Where else? To participate you are up to 21 years old. The first winner was Anna Kristina Widell from Borås. The surcumstances is the same as in the World Championships. That is you play two tunes in front of the audience and a jury. One winner is selected - there is no second or third place.

Anna.Kristina has specialised on the Wallin tradition, but has a broad register.

In the past the nyckelharpa was played almost exclusive in northern Uppland, but here we could see the evidence that so is not the case anymore. Surprisingly not one single player came from that region!

First in line was David Eriksson from Vindeln in Västerbotten. He played a kontrabasharpa - and he played it in the old fashion way. That is he used the drone traditionally and not in a way you often see on mora- and kontrabasharpas. It is just two different styles. It is not that the jury put one of them before the other! He also played "Trollrikepolska" on a modern nyckelharpa

Next was Josefina Paulsson from Sala who let us listen to a "fresh" and "well performed "Home from Gesunda" by Eric Sahlström and "Byggnan" by Byss Kalle.

Magnus Dürr from Huddinge - a "polska after Mats Edén" and a "slängpolska" from Småland. "Clear and nicely" played.

Ellinor Pettersson from Sollentuna north of Stockholm also had chosen Home From Gesunda, followed by another of Eric Sahlströms compositions "Stugan". Very high class and skilfully.

Emilia Amper from Torsås in Värmland - "Min levnads afton" after Hjort Anders a polska from dalecarlia. Played in a delicious and beautiful way. Not performed as a copy of the original, but as it should be, in her own way. A very fine sense for the rhythm and with strength underneath the surface.

Elin Skoglund from Upplands Väsby had already been seen in the World Championship. A solid style. "It sound like nyckelharpa" when she plays, one member of the jury said. It would be strange if it did not, but we see what he meant. No doubt we will see more of her in the future!

Anna-Kristina Widell from Borås. Two Polskas. The way she played them, they were certainly masterpieces. So thought the jury as well as the audience.

Jury:Peter Puma Hedlund, Sigurd Sahlström, Curt Tallroth, Nisse Nordström, Gunnar Ahlbäck and Gunnar Fredelius.


Österbybruk 2000



The Gammelharpa class

First we could enjoy Ola Hertzberg playing his moraharpa shaped kontrabasharpa with a moraharpa pegbox..

Sven Nordin is also called "mr. Österbyharpa". And Österbyharpa he played. We were happy to see him there - of some reason he had not participated before.

Anders Nordfors came next. He is perhaps best known for his formidable kontrabasharpa plying, but he also plays silverbasharpa, witch we could see today.

Christer Wesström is a man who grow up with some a the legendary old timers. He plays on a silverbasharpa build by Spel Oskar Larsson.

Björn Björn, who became champion in 98 was followed by

Ingvar Jörpeland,

Curt Jinder,

Daniel Pettersson

and Jan Sahlberg

Modern class

Anna-Kristina Widell, Christer Häggmark, Per Gustav Jernberg, Sture Hogmark, Ditte Andersson , Esbjörn Hogmark, Ellinor Pettersson, Peter Puma Hedlund, Ola Hertzberg, Tommy Lindholm, Henrik Eriksson , Elin Skoglund and Anna Wingård

Nisse Nordström, Peter Puma Hedlund and Birgitta Dahl.
Chairman of the Swedish paralament.


Daniel Pettersson from Boliden won the gammelharpa class and
Peter Puma Hedlund became a second time winner in the modern class.



1999. The Österby championships for youth


David Eriksson from Vindeln - Champion.


Anders Smedenmark

Maria Bohlin.

Beata Norén.

Anna Jönsson. .

Elin Skoglund

Anne-Chatrine Friberg.

Ben Lagerberg Teitelbaum, USA.

David Eriksson, Vindeln, Västerbotten.


Hannes Jönsson, Kalmar.

Elin Johansson

Andreas Risán

Members of the jury. From the left: Gunnar Ahlbäck, Sigurd Sahlström, Peter Puma Hedlund;
Nisse Nordström and Gunnar Fredelius. Betwen but behind Gunnar A and Sigurd we can spot Rita Leydon.
To the wright we can see Eva Tjörnmo whispering to Anne-Christine Granfors.
Photo Esbjörn Hogmark

Anna Christina Widell handed over the prices to David.



The Tobo students 2000 - 2001.


The compatitions

Man tävlar individuellt och i två klasser - gammelharpa och modern nyckelharpa.
En mästare utses i vardera klassen. Övriga tävlande rangordnas inte.
I ungdomsmästerskapet tävlar man i en och samma klass oavsett harptyp och spelstil.

Uppspelning sker inför publik och jury.

Juryn bedömer fyra huvudpunkter.
1. Låtval. Låten bedöms efter om den anses lämpad för nyckelharpa, originalitet och kvalitet.

2. Speltekniskt utförande. Allmän skicklighet, tangentteknik, stråkföring, melodigestaltning samt tonbildning.

3 .Folkmusikaliskt utförande. Stil, ornamentik, tradition, takt, tempo, bordunspel, dubbelgrepp etc.

4. Musikaliskt uttryck. Spelmansmässighet, gestaltning (frasering, variation) samt helhetsintryck.



Ingvar Jörpeland



1990 Österbybruk, 1992 Skansen, 1994 Linköping, 1996 Östebybruk,
1998 Skansen, 2000 Österbybruk, 2002 Österbubruk


*=World Champion, **= Dubble World Champion

Alpsjö Leif 92 m, 98 m,
Andersson Bengt 94 sb, 98 sb, 02 sb
Andersson Ditte, Uppsala 90 m, 92 m, 94 m, 96 m, 98 m, 00 m, 02 m
Berg Peter, London 92 moh,
Bergelt Styrbjörn 92 sb, 94 sb
Berglund Ragnar, Möklinta 90 m, 92 m,
Bergman Arne, Österbybruk 90 kb
Bernström Rickard, Storvreta 90 m
** Björn Björn, Fole 90 sb, 96 sb, 98 sb, 00 sb, 02 sb
Catarina Björn, Fole Gotland 90 sb,
Eriksson Henrik 96 m, 98 m, 00 m, 02 m
Furå Pär 94 sb + m,
* Gille Hasse, Österbybruk 90 sb + m , 92 sb, 96 kb + m,
** Hedlund Peter "Puma", 90 sb + m, 92 m, 94 m, 96 m, 00 m,
Hertzberg Ola, Kungsängen 90 m, 92 m, 94 m, 96 m, 00 m
Hogmark Esbjörn; Örbyhus
90 m, 92 sb + m, 94 sb + m, 96 sb + m, 98 kb + m, 00 m, 02 m
Hogmark Sture, Uppsala 90 m, 92 m, 94 m, 96 m, 98 m, 00 m,
Holmström Magnus 02 m
Häggmark Christer 00 m
Höge Svante 98 m,
Jernberg Per Gustaf 96 m, 98 m, 00 m, 02 m
Jinder Curt 92 sb, 94 sb, 96 sb, 98 sb, 00 sb, 02 sb
** Johansson Olov, Uppsala 90 kb + m
Jörpeland Ingvar, Sollentuna 90 sb, 92 sb, 94 sb, 96 sb, 98 sb, 00 sb, 02 sb
** Jörpeland Lena 92 sb, 94 sb, 96 sb,
Källman Peder 96 m,
Landström Kjell, Nyköping 90 sb, 94 sb, 96 sb,
Lindholm Tommy 00 m, 02 m
Lindström Bo 94 m, 96 m,
Lindqvist Jane 92 m,
* Mattsson Anders 92 m, 94 m,
Nordin Sven 00 kbdb
Nordfors Anders, Stockholm 90 sb, 92 kb, 96 kb, 98 kb, 00 sb,
Näsbom Torbjörn 96 m,
* Pettersson Daniel 00 moh
Kristofer Pettersson sb
Pettersson Ellinor 00 m,
* Roswall Niklas 92 m, 94 m, 96 kb + m,
Sahlberg Jan 00 sb, 02 sb
Sahlström Sture 96 m,
Skoglund Elin 96 m, 98 m, 00 m, 02 m
* Svensson Marcus 96 sb + m, 98 kb + m,
Södergren Kurt, Österbybruk 90 sb+m, 94 sb, 96 sb + m,
Södergren Åsa 98 m,
Thalén Roland, Vattholma 90 m
Weis Becky, USA 96 m,
Wesström Christer 96 sb, 00 sb, 02 sb
* Widell Anna-Kristina 96 m, 00 m, 02 m
Wikström Tonny 98 m,
Wingård Anna 00 m,

Gunnar Ahlbäck, arr & Chairman. 90, 92, 94, 96, 98, 00, 02
Gunnar Fredelius, arr " 94, 96, 98, 00, 02 (+92 arr only)
Hedlund Peter Puma 02
Ole Hjort, 94
Anton Jernberg, 90
Nisse Nordström, 94, 96, 98, 00, 02
Anders Lilijefors, 92
Jan Ling, 90, 96, 00
Sigurd Sahlström, 90, 92, 96, 98, 00, 02
Anders Söderberg 90
Curt Tallroth, 90, 92, 94, 96, 98,


The audience favorit 1992 and 1994 was Anders Mattsson .
1996 the winner was Niklas Roswall and 1998 Markus Svensson .






ERIC SAHLSTRÖM was reffered

Österbybruk 1990
Gammelharpa Olov Johansson , kontrabasharpa.
Modern nyckelharpa Olov Johansson.

Stockholm 1992
Gammelharpa Hans Gille, silverbasharpa.
Modern nyckelharpa Peter "Puma" Hedlund.

Linköping 1994
Gammelharpa Lena Jörpeland, silverbasharpa.
Modern nyckelharpa Anders Mattsson .

Österbybruk 1996
Gammelharpa Lena Jörpeland, silverbasharpa.
Modern nyckelharpa Niklas Roswall

Stockholm 1998
Gammelharpa silverbasharpa.Björn Björn
Modern nyckelharpa Markus Svensson .

Östebybruk 2000
Gammelharpa, moraharpa, Daniel Pettersson
Modern nyckelharpa Peter Puma Hedlund

Österbybruk 2002
Gammelharpa, silverbasharpa, Björn Björn
Modern nyckelharpa Anna-Kristina Widell


Tävlingen publikens favorit vanns 1992 och 1994 av Anders Mattsson .
1996 blev vinnaren Niklas Roswall och 1998 Markus Svensson .
Publikens favorit-tävlingen gjorde uppehåll år 2000



The National Musical Instrument of Sweden The 2002 Nyckelharpa World Championship Different types of the music instrument Nyckelharpa Nyckelharpa players
The 1996 Nyckelharpa World Championship Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden visits the Eric Sahlstrom Institute in Tobo Hundreds of nyckelharpa links in five languages
Photo EH Esbjörn Hogmark, PUA Per-Ulf Allmo, EF Erik Fredelius and GF Gunnar Fredelius.