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Olea Crøger: Folk song collector and pioneering woman

Song, story telling, and Hardanger fiddle in Grieg's villa

Et fotografi av folkemusiker Anne Hytta som holder hardingfelen sin opp foran halve ansiktet.

Anne Hytta (foto: Agnete Brun).


Where Troldhaugen

Price 290/250/100/50 NOK

Sunday, September 24: Experience music from the pioneer of folk music, performed by two of our foremost folk musicians! Berit Opheim and Anne Hytta present music and stories in Grieg's own living room.

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In this concert, we become acquainted with the story of Olea Crøger, who was the first prominent collector of folk ballads and folklore in Norway in the early 1800s.

About the concert

Olea Crøger (1801-1855) was among the first to systematically collect folk memories and melodies in Norway. She particularly collected in the areas of Heddal, Morgedal, Kviteseid, and Seljord.

She was the one who introduced Magnus Brostrup Landstad to the world of folk ballads and convinced Jørgen Moe that there was a distinct Norwegian ballad tradition.

When Crøger handed over most of her collections to M.B. Landstad and Ludvig Mathias Lindeman, published as "Norske Folkeviser" around 1852, she was barely mentioned in the preface.

These folk ballads inspired, among others, Edvard Grieg. He referred to Lindeman frequently in his letters but likely did not know that most of the melody material was collected by Olea Crøger.

Crøger probably did not meet Edvard Grieg, who was 12 years old when she passed away, and it's uncertain whether she ever met the famous Norwegian violinist Ole Bull. However, both Crøger and Ole Bull did encounter Myllarguten, and Ole Bull transcribed several of Myllarguten's tunes.

Crøger traveled extensively, singing for people and encouraging them to sing for her. She often invited people to her farm in Seljord, treating them to good food and drink. This approach allowed her to access folk ballads and materials that might have otherwise been lost.

This Sunday, two of Norways foremost folk musicians present the songs she collected to the audience at Troldhaugen.

Et portrettfoto av folkemusiker Berit Opheim som ses i profil.

Berit Opheim (foto: Gry Senderud).

Et foto av Nina og Edvard Griegs stue på Troldhaugen. Interiøret er preget av laftede trevegger, tregulv og møbler i plysj og jordtoner. En lysekrone i messing henger i taket og vi ser Griegs Steinway-flygel som står midt i rommet. På veggen henger en rekke ulike fotografier og malerier fra Griegs tid.

Foto: Dag Fosse / Kode

Et fotografi av folkemusiker Anne Hytta som smiler foran en mørk bakgrunn.

About the Artists

Berit Opheim is one of the most respected folk musicians in Norway. With her curious attitude towards music, Opheim has continually discovered new expressions, including medieval music, contemporary music, and improvised music. Her musical versatility has won over many listeners across different genres, and she constantly plays in the borderland between them. Opheim began her career in the late 1980s and is known for her focused communication, stage presence, and deep warm voice.

Anne Hytta from Sauland in Telemark, residing in Oslo, is an award-winning Hardanger fiddle player and composer who works with both the traditional folk music repertoire and newly composed music. The supple lines of our old traditional music form the foundation of her musical work. As a freelance musician, she is involved in various projects, ranging from medieval music to improvisational music, from solo performances to larger ensembles.


Adults NOK 290/Kode members NOK 250/Students NOK 100/Children NOK 50

Practical Information

The concert ticket also includes admission to the museum and Grieg's villa.

The museum is open as usual, offering guided tours of the villa, a free outdoor audioguide, café, and exhibitions.

Duration: 60 minutes.