Johanna Bölja Hertzberg SINGER

Johanna Bölja Hertzberg is a folk singer hailing from Järvsö, Hälsingland, in northern Sweden, an area rich in traditional music.

Johanna was born in 1978, and early on she fell in love with the traditional tunes, diving deep into folk songs to find original expressions and ornaments in lyrics and melodies.

The deep interest in traditional music and song led Johanna to studies at the Music Conservatory in Falun, Dalarna and then to the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, where she majored in vocal performance (2000-2003) as well as pedagogy (2004-2005) at the department for traditional Swedish music. During her years at the Royal College of Music, a number of inspiring collaborations developed, including the group Ditt Ditt Darium.

Since the late 90s, Johanna has participated on several recordings and toured with Swedish folk bands such as Hulling, Ditt Ditt Darium and Ranarim, in many of the well-known folk music festivals across Europe and USA. Johanna has worked and performed with the regional theatre, Folkteatern i Gävle, on a number of occasions at the famous ‘wooden theatre’ in Järvsö; Hälsinglands Träteater. She performed as singer, musician and dancer in a play directed by Peter Oskarsson, telling the story of Swedish fiddler From-Olle, from 1995 through 1997. In 2006, she was staffed as musician for the staging of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, directed by Graham Christopher.

In 2005 Johanna was nominated at the Swedish Grammy Awards for best folk music album with Kärleksbrev och ryska satellite (Loveletters and Russian satelites), where she collaborated with Hälsingland singers Hallberg, Härdelin and Ståbi.

In 2007 Johanna released two album, one with her own trio Kapten Bölja and one with the folk band Ditt Ditt Darium.

Johanna has performed works by contemporary Swedish composer Karin Rehnqvist in Sweden and abroad as well as traditional herding calls (‘kulning’) at several ceremonial events such as the inauguration ceremony at the Swedish parliament and the Nobel concert honouring Polar Music Prize winner Yo-Yo Ma at the Stockholm Concert Hall. Johanna has also been a member of Ranarim, one of Sweden’s most famous folk bands.

Johanna has received several prestigious grants and stipends for her work, including the Royal Music Academy (2005) and the regional council in Gävleborg (2012).