Early Music Vancouver:

Resonance Untamed- The Swedish Nyckelharpa


Date/Time: August 3, 2022 / 4 p.m.

Artists: Kirsty Money, nyckelharpa; David Greenberg, fiddle; David McGuinness, melodica; and Alasdair Money, cello 

Programme: Works by J.S. Bach, Kirsty Money and Swedish traditional music

Location: Roedde House Museum

*Masks are required. Seating is limited.



 Join us in the historic parlour of Roedde Houe Musuem, for a special concert by Early Music Vancouver!


The nyckelharpa is an ancient instrument with origins dating back to 11th century Medieval Europe. It is the cousin of the hurdy-gurdy, only instead of a wheel to play the notes, a short bow is used. Sweden is the country in Northern Europe with the longest unbroken nyckelharpa tradition (approximately 600 years), and it is this instrument and its traditional repertoire that will be featured in this afternoon’s concert. This concert features Scandinavian polskas, some Baroque favourites arranged for the nyckelharpa, and compositions written by Kirsty herself during the past two years of the pandemic. Audiences will experience the immense depth of sound the nyckelharpa inhabits, as well as the trance-inducing three-quarter time polska groove that is so addictive in this tradition.

In Swedish 'nyckel' means key, and 'harpa' means strings, thus keyed strings. The revival of this mercurial instrument has been well underway in Europe for about forty years, and now it has taken hold in North America. Not only is the nyckelharpa directly tied to the polska (the principal traditional dance form in Sweden, of which there are literally thousands), but it is now being showcased in all kinds of musical genres such as Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Jazz, Contemporary, and even Rock bands.


Kirsty Money, Nyckelharpa

Originally from BC, Kirsty studied violin with Sydney Humphreys at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and has further degrees from McGill and Western Universities, as well as her LRSM (UK). Currently she is a member of the first violin section of Symphony Nova Scotia. However, she plays more than just the modern violin!

While studying in Montréal, she was introduced to the Baroque violin, and this has led to collaborations with Early Music musicians like David Greenberg (Tempest Baroque Ensemble), Suzie Leblanc (Early Music Vancouver), Jeanne Lamon (Tafelmusik), Alex Weimann (Pacific Baroque Orchestra), Kati Debretzeni (English Baroque Soloists) and David McGuinness (Concerto Caledonia, Scotland).

Her interest in Early Music and living with the Folk Traditions in Nova Scotia, has also inspired her to take up playing the Swedish Nyckelharpa, an instrument dating from Medieval Northern Europe. Since 2015 she has been studying the instrument and its traditional repertoire from Sweden intensely. Through grants from the Canada Council and Arts Nova Scotia she has been to nyckelharpa workshops and festivals in Sweden, the UK and Germany. Principal mentors include Olov Johansson, Josefina Paulson, Magnus Holmström, David Eriksson, and Vicki Swan.

Her intention is to bring the amazing depth of sound and versatility of the nyckelhapra to audiences in Nova Scotia, and to the rest of Canada.


David Greenberg, fiddle

For three decades, David has enjoyed a double career as a Baroque violinist and Cape Breton fiddler. His fluency and experience in these two genres makes him uniquely qualified to interpret the wild music of 18th-century Scotland.

David is a graduate of Indiana University’s Early Music Institute, where he studied with Stanley Ritchie. He has performed, taught, and recorded primarily in North America and Western Europe, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, and the Far East.

David has performed with Tafelmusik, Red Priest, Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien, Concerto Caledonia, Apollo’s Fire, Ensemble Caprice, La Nef, Toronto Consort, Seattle Baroque, Les Voix Humaines, Chris Norman, Suzie LeBlanc, Doug MacPhee, and Musica Pacifica. He has performed as guest soloist/director with several orchestras, including the Calgary Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Nova Scotia.

He has recorded over 80 CDs, including with most of these ensembles and collaborators, as well as three groundbreaking Scottish-Cape Breton-Baroque recordings with his own ensemble Puirt A Baroque in the 1990s.

David co-authored The DunGreen Collection (1996), an influential treatise on Cape Breton fiddling. He is also a composer and arranger. Many of his tunes have been recorded by Cape Breton musicians such as Buddy MacMaster, Carl MacKenzie, Jerry Holland, and The Rankins.

David enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge about Baroque and Cape Breton music in workshop settings. His current solo touring program is called Bach & Tunes: Multiple Voices for One.


David McGuinness, melodica

David McGuinness divides his time between historical Scottish music and contemporary work. As director of early music ensemble Concerto Caledonia he has made fifteen albums, mostly of newly-rediscovered repertoire, and collaborated with musicians in a variety of genres from folk to punk cabaret.

Recently he has been playing historical pianos in traditional music: 2018’s What News is a collection of traditional Scots ballads with the singer Alasdair Roberts and sound artist Amble Skuse, and in 2022 he recorded an instrumental album with concertina player Simon Thoumire. In the ongoing performance project Nathaniel Gow’s Dance Band, Concerto Caledonia plays late 18th-century Scottish dance music while the audience dances the original figures.

David has been a music producer and composer for television and radio, most notably on several seasons of E4’s TV drama Skins. In 2007 he produced John Purser’s 50-part history of Scottish music for BBC Radio Scotland and co-ordinated the station’s observance of No Music Day with the artist Bill Drummond. In 2019 Sony Music reissued the Prefab Sprout album I Trawl the Megahertz, for which he provided the string arrangements.

He is Senior Lecturer in music at the University of Glasgow, and was principal investigator on the AHRC-funded research project Bass Culture in Scottish Musical Traditions. 2022 sees the publication of his edition of the music for Allan Ramsay's ballad opera The Gentle Shepherd for Edinburgh University Press, and a recording with Concerto Caledonia of Ramsay’s songs.


Alasdair Money, cello

Cellist, Alasdair Money grew up in Victoria and studied with James Hunter for many years at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He graduated in 1991 from the Associate in Musical Arts Diploma program and went on to complete a Bachelor of Music degree at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. While there, he studied with Lawrence Lesser and Michael Haber. After graduating from NEC in 1995, Alasdair went to England to study in London with Raphael Wallfisch at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he received a post-graduate diploma in cello performance.

Alasdair has attended such festivals as Banff and Orford in Canada and the Dartington, Evian and Verbier music festivals in England and in Europe. While back in Canada, Alasdair works with the Victoria and Vancouver Island symphonies, the Emily Carr String Quartet, the Galiano and Aventa ensembles and has played with the Vancouver Symphony orchestra. He also completed a Master of Music degree in cello performance at the University of Victoria where he studied with Pamela Highbaugh-Aloni and Paula Kiffner.


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