Canadian Hardanger fiddler Laura Ellestad holds a B.A. in Traditional Music Performance and an M.A. in Performance. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America’s Ole Bull Scholarship, the Torleiv Bolstad Memorial Stipend, and she became the first North American Hardanger fiddler to advance to the elite A class at Landskappleiken (the Norwegian national folk music championships). She is a Lecturer and Deputy Department Head at the Institute for Traditional Art and Folk Music at the University College of Southeast Norway in Rauland. She is also currently a Ph.D. Research Fellow at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, where she is researching the Norwegian-American folk music in the American Upper Midwest.
Laura pursues an active performance career as a soloist and in several ensembles. Her debut solo recording, Valdresspel i Amerika, released in 2014, received critical acclaim and was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy Award (Spellemannprisen) as well as a Norwegian Folk Music Award (Folkelarmprisen).