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Emilia Amper photo by Olof Grind IMG_335

I was born in 1981 and started playing the nyckelharpa, by a very lucky coincidence since the instrument was really rare in my area of Sweden then, at the age of 10. I fell totally in love from day one, I even used to sleep with my nyckelharpa beside me in my bed... I am so thankful that this wonderful instrument came into my life, and also that it happened to bring me into the folk and world music world, because it really is my life now and I love it (to be honest, I feel both lucky and actually proud to be part of such a warm-hearted, groovy and wise sub culture...)! I studied for a very long time, both nyckelharpa, fiddle, musicology, performing arts with nyckelharpa as my main instrument, and composing (in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark), and ended up with two Bachelors and one Nordic Master in Folk Music degree. Since I finished my Master in 2011 I have been working full-time as a freelance musician, playing, singing, composing and also teaching all over Europe, in China, the US, Canada, Namibia, India, Iran, Hongkong, the UAE and Brazil. I always love to meet new fellow musicians and audiences from different genres and cultures!

After playing mostly traditional music from Sweden and other parts of the world in my teens, I performed as a folk music soloist with a chamber orchestra for the first time in my early 20’s. This inspired me so much that I started composing and arranging myself for this kind of instrumentation, with the melodies and rhythms inspired by Nordic traditional music and with the string orchestra as my palett of wonderful sounds to colour it all with. My first own album, Trollfågeln/The magic bird, at internationally renowned classical label BIS Records, got absolutely wonderful reviews and was nominated for a Swedish Grammy award. Last autumn I released my second album, Lux, also at BIS Records. On this album I take the composing and arranging ideas with nyckelharpa, vocals, string ensemble and percussion even further, and it’s been a great experience and exciting process to create it.

Somehow, I think that the open mindedness and curiosity, together with my love and respect for traditions, follows my musical path, as I at the same time am a tradition bearer (awarded Riksspelman/fiddler of the realm) of Swedish traditional music, play with Kurdish, Persian, flamenco, Arabic, West African, pop/rock, jazz, Indian etc musicians, plus have gotten so much into the classical world as a folk music soloist (I was for example BIS’s first ever folk musician that they made an album with). My stage can be everything from an old barn in the countryside when playing for traditional dancing in the middle of the Swedish summer night to a beautiful Sao Paolo concert hall decorated with shining dark wood and with waiters in white gloves and a backstage room (only for me) twice the size of my flat, a cosy pub in France, a stormy platform outside a lighthouse in the very north of Norway, an opera house in Düsseldorf, the desert in Namibia or a big summer folk festival stage in Belgium. No matter where I go with my music, it’s the meetings that are in focus, the contact between musicians and with dancers or listeners. When you feel that contact, get into the groove, overbuild language or culture gaps... That inspires me tremendously! It’s what I live for!


Some important events on my CV are for example: World champion of nyckelharpa 2010, Artist of the year at the Swedish Folk & World Music Awards 2013, nominated for the Swedish Grammy, Manifest award and Album of the Year at the Swedish Folk & World awards for Trollfågeln in 2013, double American Grammy nominee and Norwegian Grammy winner for In folk style together with the Trondheim Soloists, Gjermund Larsen and 2L in 2010, and NPU prize winner (an award given to one chosen Nordic composer each year, from the composers organisations of all the Nordic countries) in 2013, teaching at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, board member at the Eric Sahlström Institute (Sweden's institute for traditional music, singing and dancing) 2009-2016, member of UTOM Unga tankar om musik (a think tank for musicians and music producers under the age of 40) since 2018, commissioned piece Till Reser Anna for Västerås Sinfonietta as part of the Reflections on Visa från Utanmyra project, and performing in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Greece, Iran, the Gambia, Namibia, India, the US, Canada, Brazil, Romania, Italy, UK, Ireland, China, Poland, Hongkong and The United Arab Emirates.



Klopper, Ragnhild Furebotten, ta:lik, 2019

Grenseskogen, Frode Hatli, Hubro, 2019

Lux, Emilia Amper, BIS Records, 2016

Och hela världen den log, ODE, Gammelthea, 2013

Trollfågeln, Emilia Amper, BIS Records, 2012

Hoppa kajak, Skaran,Modesty Music, 2012

Fimbulnatta, Marte Hallem, Öra Fonogram, 2012

Blink, Blink, NORCD, 2011

In folk style, The Trondheim Soloists, Emilia Amper and Gjermund Larsen, 2L, 2010

KMH Folk 2010, KMH Folk, Academus, 2010

Waiting for the full moon, Lise Olden, Nordic Records, 2008

Into Paradise, Sissel Kyrkjebö, Universal, 2006

Beyond the notes, Jon Lord, EMI, 2004

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