The nyckelharpa (Schlüsselfidel, viola d’amore
con chiavi, keyed fiddel) is a string instrument played with a short bow and keys that change
the pitch. Its resonance strings contribute to its unique sound. From Late Middle Ages the
nyckelharpa emerged in Europe. However since the Baroque Period it has only been played in
Sweden mainly around Upland as a folk instrument. Thanks to innovative musicians in Sweden,
especially Eric Sahlström (1912-1986), and inspired musicians in continental Europe, the
nyckelharpa is being rediscovered all over the world and being used in many musical styles.
The international cooperation for the preservation and promotion of the nyckelharpa, the "Nyckelharpa network", which also includes the European Nyckelharpa Training and the International Days of the Nyckelharpa at Burg Fürsteneck, as well as the two EU projects CADENCE and ENCORE, was selected on 7th December 2023 as "Intangible World Cultural Heritage" in the UNESCO register of "Good Safeguarding Practices".
More information on the nyckelharpa see: www.nyckelharpa.eu
This invitation is intended for people from
everywhere with all levels of nyckelharpa experience (as well
as people motivated to learn) to play, share experiences, and take
Instruction will be given mostly in English. Additional languages are possible depending on
the teachers. Some help with different languages is usually available by participants in the
Instruction will be given mostly in English. Additional
possible depending on the teachers. Some help with different languages is usually available by
in the single workshops..
We are planning (subject to alterations):
- Workshop for beginners and slightly advanced players
(Some instruments are available for rent at a fee of € 50. Please don't forget to tell us at time of registration if you need one.)
- Annette Osann and Petra Krebs
- Handling the nyckelharpa
- Fundamentals of using the bow
- Use of the left hand
- Easy repertoire
- Continuous Workshops with special topics for advanced players
(These courses are designed to enable themed work and require basic playing skills. For less
players participants should attend the more appropriate workshop given by Annette Osann.)
- Laurent Vercambre and Jean Darbois
- French folk and North American fiddle music.
- Jule Bauer
- Nyckelharpa and singing
Techniques, tips and tricks to accompany yourself with the nyckelharpa while
singing and to
find beautiful song accompaniments.
- Olov Johansson and Markus Svensson
- Swedish folk music and different playing techniques for nyckelharpa
The two following courses are aimed at somewhat more advanced nyckelharpa players and
preparation using previously sent sheet music, audio samples and/or exercises.
- Marco Ambrosini
- "I tesori della Musica" – Italian Baroque Music for Strings
- Didier François
- Modal improvisations based on drones and harmonic sequences, from Indian music to blues
- Short workshops with the other teachers for even more sharing
- Conference on recent developments (Friday, 4th October, evening)
- Public nyckelharpa concert (Saturday, 5th October 8:30 pm, free entrance)
- Free playing together and sharing of experience
- Playing in different groups
- and in different styles
- Exposition about the nyckelharpa
- History of the nyckelharpa, from the mora to the e-harpa – Holger
- Exchange with the nyckelharpa and bow makers
- Opportunity to try out
- Consultation service
- Forum for instrument makers
- Exchange of experience among the participating builder and presentation of their
- Discussion of different instrument styles and their implications building and
- Exchange with the teachers and participants of the playing workshops to their
of the instruments
- Visits of participants in the exhibition
- Expansion of the own network in the nyckelharpa scene
The number of places for instrument and bow makers is limited, early application is recommended.
Planning and overall direction: Marco Ambrosini and Karsten Evers
The nyckelharpa teachers:
Marco Ambrosini, Eifa/Hatzfeld (Germany), studied violin and viola, theory and history of music and composition in Ancona and Pesaro. In 1982 he founded the famous ensemble " Oni Wytars " together with Peter Rabanser and in 1991 the "Katharco Consort" together with Katharina Dustmann. He works as a soloist and composer in many international ensembles for early and contemporary music. He was the pioneer for nyckelharpa in continental Europe. In 2012, he published a book of daily exercises for the nyckelharpa.
Jule Bauer, Karlstein (Germany), took part in the European Nyckelharpa Training at the Scuola di Musica Popolare in Forlimpopoli (Italien). She studied the science of music at the J.W.Goethe University (Frankfurt). She has played with different early music, folk music and world music groups for several years. In 2013, Jule published her comprehansive nyckelharpa handbook "Playing Nyckelharpa . Nyckelharpa spielen" written both in English as in German.
More at: www.marcoambrosini.eu
More at: www.sonnenklang.de
Jean Darbois, Croissy sur Seine (France), began learning traditional American music on banjo and fiddle after classical music experiences on piano and guitar. He later toured the United States as a fiddle player with a French bluegrass band and worked in Europe with famous bluegrass artists (Bill Keith, Peter Rowan, Tony Trischka). He also studied jazz and classical music on the violin. He started playing nyckelharpa 10 years ago when Laurent lent him one of his instruments and became a nyckelharpa fan because of its magical sound that can be used to interpret any kind of music. A few years later he started working with Laurent and added bluegrass, jazz and old-time banjo aspects to the duo's repertoire.
More at: www.nyckels.fr/
Didier François, Antwerpen (Belgium), studied violin, composition and Jazz in Brussels and Amsterdam. He has performed on violin and nyckelharpa with Stefane Grappelli, Gabriel Yacoub, Michel Risler, Armand Amar. He has composed for ballet, film and theatre, is a sculptor, and he has been teaching for many years.
More at: www.didierfrancois.be
Olov Johansson, Uppsala (Sweden), began playing the nyckelharpa at the age of 14. He studied with the well-known nyckelharpa players Curt Tallroth and Eric Sahlström. Since 1989 Olov has worked exclusively as a musician and composer, mainly with the group Väsen, the Scottish harpist Catriona McKay, Maskin, the organist/pianist Anders Bromander and the percussionist/drummer André Ferrari. He has also worked with the Kronos Quartet, Snarky Puppy, Hawktail, Mike Marshall & Darol Anger, Dervish and many others. Olov has received many awards. In 1990 he was elected world champion of the modern and the older nyckelharpa. In 2013 he was honoured with the Zorn Gold Medal. Many consider Olov Johansson to be Sweden's greatest master of the nyckelharpa. With his brilliant solo playing and as a member of the group Väsen, he has made a significant contribution to popularising the nyckelharpa in the international music world. Olov is actively working to pass on his musical heritage and has become a role model for many young nyckelharpa players. He teaches at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, among other places.
Petra Krebs, Ettingen (Switzerland), is an ambitious amateur musician and performs in various formations from folk to classical music. The keyed fiddle has captured her heart. She has been in the European nyckelharpa training programme since 2019 and is about to graduate. She travels throughout Europe for concerts, courses, lessons and playing together. She enjoys organising events for musicians to meet up for spontaneous music-making.
More at: www.des-dudels-kern.ch/
Annette Osann, Dole (France), is a trained violin maker, and since 1998 specialized in building nyckelharpas. After various ensemble activities for early and traditional music as a cellist and nyckelharpa player she is using the nyckelharpa today mainly in Baroque music. 2005, foundation of the duo Arcangelo with Juliette Thiebergien (baroque cello), and since 2009, chamber music. Cooperation in the duo nyckelharpa and organ with Elise Rollin (organ). Since 2013, together with Caterina Other, Jule Bauer and Susanne Brameshuber founding of "Nyckelharpa quartett", 2014, founding of the ensemble for Renaissance and Baroque music "Le Insolite Note".
More at: www.annetteosann.fr
Markus Svensson, Gotland (Sweden), is a professional nyckelharpa player and has been teaching nyckelharpa and Swedish folk music for over 30 years. He studied at the Royal Collage of Music in Stockholm, and at Malungs Folkhögskola. Markus plays all kinds of nyckelharpas and has a wide repertoire of tunes from all parts of Sweden. He became ”Riksspelman” in 1992 and won the nyckelharpa world championship in 1998. Since 2018 he is a part of the ”Zornmärkesjuryn” (Zorn badge Jury).
More at: facebook.com/markus.svensson
Laurent Vercambre, Bazemont (France), has been a member of two great musical and artistic adventures: he is a founding member of "Malicorne" and then of "Le Quatuor", both have had a significant influence in France and around the world over the last 40 years. Laurent is one of the first French nyckelharpa players, he discovered the instrument in 1975 and played it with "Malicorne" and "Le Quatuor". The French nyckelharpa maker Jean-Claude Condi maintains his instruments. He has been playing the nyckelharpa in duets for 10 years, first with Didier Francois, then with Eleonore Billy and now with Jean Darbois. They do not play traditional Swedish melodies, but instead explore different types of music, including additional instruments and vocals. Laurent has set himself the goal of making the nyckelharpa known all over the world.
More at www.nyckels.fr/
International Days of the Nyckelharpa at BURG FÜRSTENECK
starts on Thursday, 3th October, 2024 with dinner
at 6:30 pm
and ends on Sunday, 6th October, 2024 at 1:00 pm.
Fee: 410 – 510 € (self-assessment including acommodation in twin room and food), youth fee 246 €, subsidized rate & exhibitors 287 €
The course fees include accommodation in a twin room at the castle in and meals – also vegetarian, vegan or allergy-friendly on request.
Discounts = reduced fees for young people, low-income and exhibitors
Youth fee is available for young persons up to 26 years of age.
The subsidized rate can be granted to people who are on a low income and are in
statutory social benefits or
only have a comparable low income (proof required).
Exhibitors who built professionally nyckelharpa
can apply for the 30%.discount.
indicate a dicount at the time of registration and provide proof. No discount
Rental charges remain unaffected.
(You can switch the form to English above the page title. Please indicate any
instrument in the "Comments" field.)
Concert videos from past International
Days of the
Nyckelharpa can be found at
(Many thanks to the artists and to Bernd Segnitz, who produced the videos.
Please also note our two-year part-time Eurpoean
Am Schlossgarten 3
Tel: +49 (0) 6672-92020
Fax: +49 (0) 6672-9202-30