A note from Gyri Tveitt

a field of yellow and pink tulips dotted with Norwegian flags overlooking a fjord with mountains in the background from Gyri Tveitt

The Tveit farm greets the 17th of May each year.

Dear readers of The Norwegian American,

What an honor it was to be asked for to use my photo on this very special 17 of May photos issue of your newspaper! This is, in fact, my “traditional” profile photo on my Facebook page every søttendemai.

Isrid, the great-granddaughter of Geirr Tveitt, in a red and black bunad with long blond curly hair.

Geirr Tveitt’s great-granddaughter, Isrid.

Some of you have heard about the Hardangerfjord and the beautiful scenery here, and I guess that quite a few of you have heard about the beautiful Hardanger embroidery. Here you can see a photo showing my nephew’s oldest daughter, Isrid, Geirr Tveitt’s great-grandchild, in her Hardanger bunad with an apron and blouse with the embroidery.

In general, the Hardanger region is known for its tradition and folklore, mainly music with the Hardanger fiddle, vocal song, handcrafts, and apple cider. The scenery in May is particularly beautiful, with apple orchards blooming along the fjord. 

As mentioned, Geirr Tveitt is regarded as one of Noway’s most important classic composers, with an enormous production. His works span from opera solo instrument concertos to piano music to the tiniest ballads. Sadly, many of his works were lost when a fire engulfed our home in 1970. Nevertheless, there is much left for you, and I would love to write more on that subject another time.

Geirr and Gyri Tveitt

Father and daughter Geirr and Gyri Tveitt.

This view has been the inspiration for other composers as well. For example, the composer Edvard Grieg visited our homestead to see this very view! Little did he know that this place would bring up another composer in the next century.

Every søttendemai, I decorate the field of grass in front of our house at Tveit, and yes, this is our view.

I have a saying that my flag seeds always seem to show up as flowers on the very day of the 17th of May, rain or shine! … And it is all in the memory of the music that my brother and I grew up with when my father played his grand piano and compositions of the most known composers in the world.


Gyri Tveitt

All photos courtesy of Gyri Tveitt©

This article originally appeared in the June 4, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.

Norwegian American Logo

The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.