Current and former KMH students in folk music were at the center of the awards at the 2016 Folk and World Music Gala.
Newcomer of the year were the two KMH students that make up the Stockholm duo Symbio: Johannes Geworkian Hellman (hurdy-gurdy) and Larsemil Öjeberget (accordion).
The jury said:
"Folk music it cetrainly is, but from which continent? It is difficult to know here, but on the other hand, it does not matter. Originality and courage are here as well as an indomitable desire for the new and untried. Bold and innovative wirth instruments in many and unexpected roles. Music that takes you to new places, the colouring images and moods and creates a dreamy world which you happily return to."
The English violinist and former KMH student Bridget Marsden was named Artist of the Year with the motivation:
<"An artist with a drive and an impressive sense of purpose. A musician who does not compromise on quality and curiously reveals her own way. But the road does not always where you think. We appreciate that the course was changed, now we can all enjoy this talented, unique and highly prolific musician."
This year's group was the trio from the city of Sundsvall Ahlberg, Ek & Roswall, consisting of the two KMH alumni Emma Ahlberg (five-stringed violin) and Niklas Roswall (moraharpa and nyckelharpa/keyed fiddle) together with Daniel Ek (harp guitar).
"There are many who talk about the swing, the interaction and the joy of playing. Here is a group that has all this and that also without the slightest problem moves the stage down on the dance floor. And back. May we, as the Swedish Academy, exclaim: Finally!".
The category Issue of the year had received more than 50 winner proposals from the public. Thus, the jury had a tough job before finally appointing singer, pianist and KMH alumna Sofie Livebrant the winner with her CD Lighthouse Stories.
The citation read:
"Passion can not be mistaken. Musically, this is an inviting meeting between styles. The traditional and the personal dance together, effortlessly, all of it packaged in a unique and exciting way. A bold and original project which in the safe spotlight safely is piloted into the home port. Simply Dazzling!"
The Folk & World Music Gala 2016 was held in Västerås 2 April, organized by Västmanlandsmusiken, Riksförbundet för Folkmusik och Dans, Sveriges Spelmäns Riksförbund, Eric Sahlström Institutet, Svenska Folkdansringen och Kulturens in cooperation with and with support by Statens Musikverk, Kulturrådet, STIM and a number of other organizations and institutions.
This year's gala is the largest to date and included 16 concerts, 40 workshops, a trade show, playing on the town, dancing and celebration. The 2017 Gala will be held in Helsingborg Concert Hall 18 March.