Sustaining Scandinavian Folk Music in the Upper Midwest

Two carved wooden figurines depicting musicians in Norwegian folk costumes.

This year, the World Records Symposium is welcoming musicians, folklorists, historians, community members, and plenty more from throughout the Upper Midwest and the Nordic countries to Madison. We’ll be exploring the documentation and revitalization efforts of Scandinavian musical traditions on both sides of the Atlantic. From April 12–14, the Mayrent Institute and Sustaining Scandinavian Folk Arts in the Upper Midwest will be hosting several roundtable discussions with artists and academics, two nights of concerts with musicians from Scandinavia and Scandinavian America, a community dance at Folklore Village in Dodgeville, WI, and will feature a keynote address from Dr. Christopher Goertzen.

A professor of musicology at the University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. Goertzen is a historian of Western music and an ethnomusicologist. He has conducted fieldwork with musicians on three continents, is the author of Fiddling for Norway: Revival and Identity, and the newly published George P. Knauff’s Virginia Reels and the History of American Fiddling.

We will also be joined by Paul Dahlin, Laura Ellestad, Bucky Halker, Maja Heurling, Dwight Lamb, LeRoy Larson, Bill Musser, Phil NusbaumSara Pajunen, Bill Peterson, Saijaleena Rantanen, Beth Rotto, Mike Sawyer, Kari Tauring, and Oren Tikkanen.

The World Records Symposium is sponsored by the Sustaining Scandinavian Folk Arts in the Upper Midwest project, the Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture; the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures; Mills Music Library; the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic; the National Endowment for the Humanities; and the Borghesi-Mellon Workshop.

All events are free and open to the public. Click here for the full schedule. Click here if you are looking for accommodation options.