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Peter "Puma" Hedlund

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Biography

Peter Puma Hedlund is considered Sweden’s leading traditional player of the modern chromatic nyckelharpa, having won the title World Champion twice, in 1992 and 2000. He earned the designation Riksspelman – Fiddler of the Realm – while still in his teens (1975). Peter and his nyckelharpa are a commanding presence whilst in the act of bringing forth music. Pure magic. His music is a powerful example of continuation – an unbroked thread linking past, present and future.

Peter is proud of the strong musical tradition and heritage that nurtured him as he grew up in Uppland. He plays nyckelharpa for fun and states this repeatedly when asked questions about his style and interpretation. Peter’s technique is unsurpassed. His exceedingly precise playing is characterized by deep murmuring tones, liquid cascades of ornaments and flourishes and gives the uncanny perception that there is more than one of him playing at once.

When he has gone as far as technique can take him, Peter probes deeper to complement technique with powerful personal interpretation. His tones remind one of older sounds, and rightly so, as they are coming from a mind and soul that has listened to and learned directly from the old masters. Peter’s primary inspiration and teacher was the legendary Eric Sahlström.

Justly proud of his position in the realm of Swedish traditional music, Peter is gradually expanding the horizons of nyckelharpa expression. In his role as an instructor, he has the opportunity to influence and nurture the growth and development of the next generation of nyckelharpa players.

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