Olav Jørgen Hegge
Olav Jørgen Hegge was a Norwegian Hardanger fiddler and folk dance
Folk dance
The term folk dance describes dances that share some or all of the following attributes:*They are dances performed at social functions by people with little or no professional training, often to traditional music or music based on traditional music....

r with American ties.

He was raised in Øystre Slidre
Øystre Slidre
Øystre Slidre is a municipality in Oppland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Valdres. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of...

, Valdres
Valdres is a traditional district in central, southern Norway, situated between Gudbrandsdal and Hallingdal.Administratively, Valdres belongs to Oppland. It consists of the municipalities Nord-Aurdal, Sør-Aurdal, Øystre Slidre, Vestre Slidre, Vang and Etnedal. The main town in the region is...

, Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. Many members of his family included fiddlers and dancers. Considered a leading tradition bearer of the Hardanger fiddle and the dance style from his home valley, he both played and danced for over 35 years. He was the recipient of the 1996 Saga Prize (Saga-prisen) by Saga Petroleum ASA. He was named a master teacher by Norsk Folkemusikk- og Danselag. He was the founder of the Twin Cities Hardingfelelag
Twin Cities Hardingfelelag
Twin Cities Hardingfelelag is an amateur folk music group in the Twin Cities, USA, specializing in Norwegian folk music played on the Hardingfele.- Background :...

 of Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 in 1996. He also judged fiddle competitions, both regional and national, and taught Hardanger fiddle at the University of Oslo
University of Oslo
The University of Oslo , formerly The Royal Frederick University , is the oldest and largest university in Norway, situated in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. The university was founded in 1811 and was modelled after the recently established University of Berlin...

 and the Ole Bull Academy in Voss
is a municipality in Hordaland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Voss. The administrative center of the municipality is the village of Vossevangen....


Olav and his wife Mary Sanford Hegge would trade time throughout the year between Norway and St. Paul, MN
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Saint Paul is the capital and second-most populous city of the U.S. state of Minnesota. The city lies mostly on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area surrounding its point of confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Minneapolis, the state's largest city...

 until Olav died August 26, 2005.
Mary continues to dance and teach at the American Swedish Institute
American Swedish Institute
The American Swedish Institute is a non-profit educational and research organization and museum in the Phillips West neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. The organization is dedicated to the preservation and study of the historic role Sweden and Americans of Swedish heritage have...

, and Tapestry Folkdance Center.

External links

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