In 1990 Olov became the first world champion of the nyckelharpa. He began to play the nyckelharpa in 1980 as a fourteen-year old and was named a ‘riksspelman’ (master musician) in 1984. Olov has studied with the legendary Curt Tallroth and Erik Sahlstrom and is presently a teacher at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. He is regarded as one of Sweden’s most prominent nyckelharpa players and is an inspiration for numerous young performers on the instrument.
Apart from his association with celebrated Swedish band Väsen, Olov has also played with groups such as Kronos Quartet, Nordman, Trio Con X as well as solo performances. He has recorded with the chart-topping Swedish rock group Nordman and has played on the albums Early Music (with Kronos Quartet), Till Eric (with the Nyckelharpa Orchestra) and his solo project Storsvarten.
Olov collaborates with Scottish harpist Catriona McKay, a member of Fiddlers’ Bid. Since first working together in 2002 Catriona and Olov have collaborated in the Celtic Connections 2007 concert Fiddler’s Bid International on Olov’s solo album ‘I lust och Glod’ and on Catriona’s dazzling Floe project.
* Olov Johansson: Vasen (Drone DROCD001, 1990)
* Vilda (Drone DROCD004, 1992)
* Essence (Auvidis Ethnic B6787, 1994)
* Levande (Drone DROCD009, 1995)
* Spirit, compilation (NorthSide NSD 6004, 1997)
* Whirled (Northside, 1997)
* Varldens (Europe: Xource/MNW XOUCD118 / US: NorthSide NSD 6006, 1997)
* Gront (Europe: Xource/MNW XOUCD126 / USA: NorthSide NSD 6041, 1999)
* Live at the Nordic Roots Festival (NorthSide NSD 6065, 2001)
* Trio (NorthSide NSD 6077, 2003)
* Keyed Up (NorthSide NSD 6080, 2004)
* Live in Japan (2005)
* Linnaeus Väsen (Northside Records, 2007)
* Mike Marshall & Darol Anger with Väsen (Adventure Music, 2007)
* Väsen Street (Northside Records, 2009)
* Brewed (Northside Records, NSD7100, 2017)