Sedra Bistodeau

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Sedra Bistodeau
Born1994 (age 26–27)
Princeton, Minnesota
Occupation(s)soloist, performer
InstrumentsViolin, fiddle

Sedra Bistodeau (born 1994) is an American fiddler and violinist from Princeton, Minnesota.[1]

Sedra Bistodeau began playing the violin at age three, studying with noted teachers Margaret Haviland and Mary West at the MacPhail Center for the Arts in Princeton, MN. She studied with Sally O'Reilly, Professor of Violin at the University of Minnesota, until graduating high school and currently studies with Bettina Mussumeli, at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She received the Mary West Violin Scholarship four years consecutively, then at age 10 won the honor to perform Max Bruch's Violin Concerto in G minor (3rd Movement) as a soloist with the Little Falls Heartland Symphony. She won the top prize in the junior division of the Minnesota Sinfonia Competition, allowing her to solo with the Minnesota Sinfonia Orchestra (Introduction and Tarantella – Sarasate) in 2008 under the direction of Jay Fishman. In 2009, Bistodeau won the MNSOTA Mary West Solo Competition and performed solo (Sibelius Violin Concerto) with the Bloomington Orchestra. The following year, she won the MacPhail Civic Concerto Competition (and another solo performance with the Civic Orchestra) and earned first-place finishes in the Schubert Club Scholarship and the Minnesota Youth Symphony's Essay Scholarship. In 2011, Bistodeau won first place in the Thursday Musical Scholarships and was the Grand Prize winner in the Saint Cloud Symphony Concerto Competition, soloing with the Saint Cloud Symphony (Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto No. 4). In 2012, Sedra competed and won the YPSCA competition in Minneapolis, MN. As a result of winning, she won the opportunity to perform with the Minnesota Orchestra, which happened in February/March 2014.

She played the third movement of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47. In addition to her focus on classical music, Bistodeau has spent an equal number of years on the violin art of fiddling. She has found much success in this area as well, through competitions and special guest appearances. She appears in the TV documentary, The Devil's Box, completed a recording with Peter Ostroushko. Currently recognized as one of the top ten fiddlers in the United States, Bistodeau has accumulated many awards including two first-place finishes in the Junior Junior division at the National Oldtime Fiddle Contest, a first place at the coveted “Gone to Texas” division at the Fiddlers' Frolics in Halletsville, TX. She was the first female to ever win this division and the youngest competitor to win this division as well at the age of 13. She's also acquired three top finishes at the Wisconsin State Championship. In 2010, Sedra Bistodeau placed fourth in the Open division of the National Oldtime Fiddle Contest. In 2011, Sedra placed 2nd in the Grand National division at the National Fiddle Contest, and again in 2013. She has also been involved in the Western Open Fiddle Contest in Redding, California for the previous four years. Three years in which she swept the championship all three years, and was asked last year to judge the competition. After taking a year off from competing at the Weiser National Championships, she was asked to judge the national champions in the summer of 2016. She is officially a certified national judge. In the 2005 American Heritage Music Festival's Grand Lake National Fiddle Fest, she placed first in the "Jr. Jr. Division", took first (with her sister) in the Twin Fiddle Contest, and with her family's band, took first in the Jukebox Contest.[2] In 2009, at the age of 14, Bistodeau took first place in the Minnesota State Fair Talent Contest with a performance of Hungarian Rhapsody#2.[3] In 2010, at the premiere old-time fiddling event,[4] the National Old-Time Fiddlers Contest held annually in Weiser, Idaho, Sedra took first place with Alex DePue in the Twin Fiddling (duet) division.[5] Bistodeau formerly studied classical violin under the direction of professor Sally O'Reilly of the University of Minnesota, and is a friend of conductor and musician Peter Ostroushko.[1] Bistodeau was credited as a player—and named in a song title—on Ostroushko's 2010 album When the Last Morning Glory Blooms.[6] She has also performed for several years with Minnesota Youth Symphonies.[7] Bistodeau appeared as a guest performer on several episodes of A Prairie Home Companion, performing with her sister Deena Bistodeau, who is also a fiddler.[8][9]


  1. ^ a b Brown, Curt (2010-11-13). "Sedra Bistodeau, teenage violinist/fiddler". Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Minneapolis-St. Paul: Star-Tribune Media. Retrieved 2010-01-23.
  2. ^ "Grand Lake National Fiddle Fest Winners 2005". Grand Lake National Fiddle Fest Winners. Grand Lake Festivals, Inc. 2005. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
  3. ^ Sedra Bistodeau and Sally O’Reilly (5.5-min segment of "mn original show 209"). mn original show 209 [1] (Television). Minneapolis-Saint Paul: Twin Cities Public Television. 10/02/2010. Check date values in: |date= (help); External link in |work= (help)
  4. ^ Considine, Austin (May 5, 2006). "Fiddling Contests: Battles With Bows and Strings". New York Times. New York, NY. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
  5. ^ "2010 National Oldtime Fiddlers' Contest Division Champions". National Oldtime Fiddler's Contest & Festival. Archived from the original on 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2010-01-23.
  6. ^ Tamarkin, Jeff (2011). "When the Last Morning Glory Blooms: Review". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
  7. ^ Joel, Stottrup (2010-11-16). "Three local eighth graders to play in Minnesota Youth Symphony". Princeton Union-Eagle. Princeton, MN: ECM Publishers, Inc. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
  8. ^ "Music Information - A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor". Programs. National Public Radio. January 8, 2011. Retrieved 2010-01-23.
  9. ^ "Music Information - A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor". Programs. National Public Radio. 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-10.

External links[edit]

  • Bistodeau's prize-winning performance at the Minnesota State Fair [2]
  • Bistodeau's third-round performance at the Weiser National Old Time Fiddler's Contest [3]
  • Bistodeau's performance with Alex DePue in the Weiser National Twin Fiddling Competition (2010 winners) [4]
  • Featured on the PBS program MN Original from the TPT St. Paul, MN Station: MN Original Videos