Beth Hoven Rotto collection

Biographical / Historical

Beth Hoven Rotto is a fiddler and researcher of Norwegian-American folk and old-time music from Decorah, Iowa. Beth began playing violin in school and then at Luther College in Decorah. Her interest in Scandinavian fiddle music developed in the 1980s, and in 1988 she began an apprenticeship with Bill Sherburne at the Highlandville Dances. She formed the band Foot-Notes in 1991 to continue the dance tradition.

Foot-Notes released the albums "Decorah Waltz" and "My Father Was a Fiddler..." in the 1990s, and performed at the Smithsonian Institution's Festival of American Folklife in 1996. Beth has continued to collect and teach fiddle tunes and dances, and has collaborated on projects highlighting the music of Norwegian-American musicians such as Ole Hendrick and John Arndt Mostad.

In the spring of 2022, Beth Hoven Rotto became the musician-in-residence at UW-Madison, working with the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures and at the Mills Music Library to study the university's collections of Upper Midwest Scandinavian music.