LISAS is a duo consisting of Lisa Rydberg, violin and Lisa Långbacka, accordion – two unique voices from the Swedish Folk Music scene. They started playing together in 2011 but the seeds of the duo were sown much earlier as both of them had heard from various quarters: You two should play together! The co-operation has been intensive. The repertoire, which they found quickly, consists of traditional songs as well as their own compositions, influenced by folk music, baroque music, tango… The two Lisas invite you to enjoy of music that stretches the genre bounds with curiosity and of ensemble playing that is characterized by sensitive ears and intensity. They played together with artists such as Lena Willemark, the Norwegian string orchestra Trondheimsolistene, Gjermund Larsen and the Danish National Vocal Ensemble. LISAS also represented Sweden at the EBU (European Radio Union) festival in Croatia 2011, toured around Sweden and other parts of Europe as well as in the US and Canada. LISAS’ first record Fiddle and Accordion Conversations won the Swedish Manifest prize for the best Folk album in 2018. In May 2019 they received a scholarship from the Swedish Royal Family.
Lisa Rydberg – Riksspelman (National Folk Musician of Sweden) and baroque violinist – embraced the violin first time when she was five years old and from the very beginning she devoted her life equally to folk and classical music. Her studies at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm give evidence of searching expression beyond the genre bounds. After studying one year of classical music performance she gradually changed to an individual curriculum being the first student ever in Sweden studying the combination of classical and folk music. She obtained her diploma in baroque violin. Lisa Rydberg is now a freelance musician with a wide range. She’s a member of numerous groups, such as ‘Bach på svenska’ (Bach in Swedish), Jul i folkton, the improvisational group Ritualia and Sofia Karlsson Band. She also appears in many smaller baroque ensembles, in pop albums and besides of that she composes her own music. In 1999 Lisa Rydberg was nominated Riksspelman. She has also been awarded Pekkos Gustaf’s special prize and Spel-Stina’s Medal.
Photo: Peter Holgersson
Lisa Långbacka’s exploration of the free bass accordion is unique. She enjoys finding new ways of arranging traditional music, bringing her harmonic ideas and influences together in her compositions. Lisa Långbacka was the Musical Director of the Nobel Prize Banquet 2017 where she performed her composition Lightwaves together with the Chamber Orchestra Musica Vitae and Cullberg Ballet. On behalf of Swedish Radio, Lisa Långbacka composed Transformationer, a piece for string quartet, piano and accordion which was broadcast in 2019.
Lisa Långbacka has been elected “The Accordionist of 2015” by SDR (Swedish Accordion Association) and “The Composer of 2017” by STIM (Swedish music copyright association). She has a masters degree in folk music from The Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm.