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Karen Solgård grew up on a farm near Crookston, Minnesota, and learned Norwegian folk songs from her mother and grandmother. First a cellist, she graduated from University of Minnesota School of Music and performed in string quartets and orchestras in Italy, France, New York, and Minnesota.

Karen began to play Hardanger fiddle in 1985. She traveled to Norway in 1986 where she heard Hardanger fiddle played by Norwegian masters for the first time. She was editor of the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America (HFAA) journal, Sound Post, 1988-1991, and was vice president the organization 1997-2000. She has been a teacher at the HFAA summer workshops for several years. She was chairperson of the Twin Cities Hardingfelelag 1997-2000. Karen was interim Hardanger fiddle instructor at St. Olaf College during 2004-5 school-year.

Karen has performed all over the Upper Midwest as well as toured to all corners of the United States. She is on the Young Audiences of Minnesota roster presenting concerts, workshops and residencies in schools and for children's groups. CDs include "Norse Fiddle at Home" and "Norse Fiddle at the Wedding." She also published a companion music book of wedding music for Hardanger fiddle or violin.

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