Olaf Sveen

Olaf Sveen. Accordionist, composer, b Surndal, Norway, l8 Apr l9l9, naturalized Canadian l954. Taught to play the accordion by his father and grandfather and by noted Norwegian players, Sveen moved to Canada in l949.

Olaf Sveen

Olaf Sveen. Accordionist, composer, b Surndal, Norway, l8 Apr l9l9, naturalized Canadian l954. Taught to play the accordion by his father and grandfather and by noted Norwegian players, Sveen moved to Canada in l949. He settled on a Saskatchewan farm, then began touring the province's dance halls with, in turn, Eddie Mehler's Southern Playboys (who were heard also on CKRM radio, Regina), the Western Five Orchestra and, l955-62, his own group, Olle and His Playmates (heard often on CHAB radio, Moose Jaw). Sveen moved in 1962 to Edmonton where he performed for social gatherings and in local nightclubs and was heard as host of Scandinavian music programs 1965-71 on radio station CKUA and later on QCFM. He taught 1962-7 at the Roberts-Tait Music Schools and thereafter privately. He continued to take students in 1991. After his first recordings for Aragon in l954, Sveen made over 25 LPs for Rodeo, Point (now MCA Coral) and London. His publications include three folios of his waltzes, polkas, and other dance tunes - Olaf Sveen's Old Time Instrumental Music (Empire l96l), Scandinavian Dance Tunes (Berandol l97l), and Music for Accordion Souvenirs (Waterloo l973) - and the book Nordmann i Canada (Trondheim, Norway, l977).


Further Reading

  • Ferguson, Ted. "Olaf the king," The Canadian, l8 Feb l978