Eric Sahlström InstituteThe “Eric Sahlström Institute” (ESI) is a foundation with the mission to support Swedish folk music, folkdance and folksong. Special attention is placed on the nyckelharpa. ESI was founded in 1998 by the Eric Sahlström Memorial Foundation and is Sweden’s first national folk music centre. The board consists of representatives from the prime and largest national organizations of folk music and folkdance, the Eric Sahlström Memorial Foundation and the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. The institute receives funding from the Swedish Arts Council, Uppsala County Council and the Municipality of Tierp. It is situated in a manor house from late 19th century in the small village of Tobo in northern Uppland.
For hundreds of years the nyckelharpa was played only in Uppland, but thanks to Eric Sahlström (1912-1986), who was an extraordinarily skilled nyckelharpa player, composer and nyckelharpa maker living in Tobo, the instrument gained in popularity. Today it is played all over Sweden as well as in many other countries and used in various genres.