Poul Bjerager Christiansen (Dk)

Poul Bjerager ChristiansenPoul Bjerager Christiansen - Chairman of Denmark’s National Folk Musicians.

Poul is a traditional fiddler, rigsspillemand, folk musician, innovator, composer, organizer and debater. In 2011, Poul won the last Nordic Championship of Folk Music in the solo class. After that, in 2012 he took the initiative to conceptualize and establish a rigsspillemands-system in Denmark, parallel to the Swedish system.

Since 1975 Poul has followed, studied and played the traditions of Sønderho, Fanø. He recorded and played with the legendary Frits Brinch for 18 years until the demise of that iconic fiddler. Poul returns to Fanø several times a year and has a thorough knowledge of the tradition, and all the tunes he keeps as “heart music”.

Other Danish traditional master fiddlers of immense value to Poul and his play are Niels Joensen, Ringive, Christian Jensen, Gallehus and Evald Thomsen, Himmerland. Much inspiration has come from playing with the young violin virtuoso Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, with whom Poul developed Fiddling Faroes to interpret the ancient Faroese ballads as Nordic Fiddle Music.

In civic life, Poul Bjerager Christiansen, M.Sc. in Public administration and spatial planning, is the chief of Denmark’s next National Park, near Roskilde/Lejre. Previously he has held different positions as executive director of a municipality, management consultant, DANIDA democracy programme coordinator in Nepal, and more. It all adds to broaden my perspectives on folk music and how to safeguard and use it in our time, he says.

Poul has played traditional folk music since the folk music revival in the late 60ties. Initially, folk music in the broader sense and traditional fiddlers of Ireland and Sweden inspired. From the early 1970’s Poul turned his focus to the remaining, genuine Danish roots. He formed the seven man strong Lirum Larum Folk Group to be the first of its kind in Denmark. After this he established Roskilde Folk Dancers’ Guild, Roskilde Fiddlers’ Guild, The Lirum Larum Folk Music Evening School, Roskilde Spillemandsstævne and Roskilde’s Culture House, all of this being first movers in the folk music wave in Denmark. In the late 70’es he and others formed RejseOrkestret, one of the hottest dance ball bands in the 80’es. Since 30 years Poul has composed a tune to each of the Viking ship replicas build in Roskilde. The tunes are always played by as many fiddles as oars to the vessel, so at the launching of the Sea Stallion 60 fiddlers had to be assembled from the Nordic and Celtic countries.