The 1990, 1992, and 1994
Nyckelharpa World Championships


Photo Gunnar Fredelius and Per-Ulf Allmo

1990 The first Nyckelharpa World Championships

took 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 to 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. It was thought the competition would promote the instrument as well as the men and women who participated. The name would also point out that even if it originally was played only 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 in the starting field.

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

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

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 presented in a boring manner. You should not be untouched after a concert... Olof has in the years since shown that he is the man who can 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 alongside the ordinary competition. The favourite of the audience.
Photo Gunnar F

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

Sture Hogmark. Photo GF


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

Peter Berg from London, moraharpa. Photo GF

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

Styrbjörn Bergelt and Esbjörn Hogmark waiting for the results
Photo Gunnar Fredelius

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 prize handed over by Gunnar Fredelius. Photo: Per-Ulf Allmo



Linköping 1994

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

The gammelharpa class

Kjell Landström, Styrbjörn Bergelt,

.Esbjörn Hogmark and Curt Jinder - sorry no pictures from this 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 audience's 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 prize 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 prizes 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!