Winds of Change Festival downtown Fargo tonight at the Avalon
Bringing classical music to listeners of all ages, the New York Kammermusiker (NYK), a world renowned double-reed instrumental group, returns to North Dakota for the 3rd annual Winds of Change Festival.
Founded in 1969, by Ilonna Pederson, the NYK has traveled the world and is dedicated to presenting music to a broad audience.
There will be a pre-concert Theatre performance at 6:30 p.m. and a formal concert at 7:30 p.m. at the Fargo Avalon Events Center. In between the pre-concert and the concert, there will be a short presentation on why Fargo is ranking high nationally for proving conservation saves and pays along with the vast potential for wind energy and other renewable energy developments in North Dakota.
Uniting people through harnessing the power of wind music, the festival continues to offer awareness of North Dakota’s capability to generate efficient wind energy. Since the first festival 3 years ago, 482 wind turbines have been erected on the North Dakota prairie.
This opportunity to meet and enjoy this world class musical group is brought to North Dakota by donations from: the North Dakota Council on the Arts, and Arts Midwest, The Hotel Donaldson, Avis Rental, Ramada Plaza Suites and others.
The group played Tuesday in three cities in North Dakota, here’s one quote from Park River Educator Jason Lindell who help arrange the tour: "People should embrace this event as a fantastic opportunity to see something new," mentioned Lindell who works in Park River near Illona’s hometown of Rolla. "Anyone who plays an instrument to anyone curious about classical music should take advantage of it."
Pederson states that anyone from across the tri-state area are welcome to attend the longer, more formal concert program in Fargo will allow those traveling from outside Fargo to attend at no cost.
Pederson’s son, Bjorn, will be directing the theater portion of the concert. Bjorn has performed in over a dozen plays in New York City and graduated from North Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science in Theater.
According to an information packet, the NYK is no stranger to giving concerts in unusual places. The group has played in the highest concert hall in the world (La Paz, Bolivia at over 12,000 feet), the lowest (Lanzarote, Canary Islands – in the cone of a volcano) and in climates from desert to tropical rainforest. Since 1969 the Kammermusiker has made annual tours throughout the U.S. and Europe, nine to South America, two to the Far East and to Australia and New Zealand.
The NYK has recorded and released two albums: "A Renaissance Tour of Europe" and "A Baroque Celebration."
Pederson has performed in hundreds of concerts across six continents since founding the NYK. Over the decades, the ensemble’s ranks have been filled by members of the most prestigious orchestras in the world including the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, The New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the San Francisco Symphony, and many others.
Pederson graduated from Grand Forks Central High School in 1959. She has played in the Grand Forks Symphony, the Canadian Opera Company (principle), the Munich Bach Orchestra, and the Munich Philharmonic as an oboist. She also spent several summers at the Salzburg Festival in Austria as first oboist in Herbert von Karajan’s conductors orchestra.
Pederson currently has family farming in Rolette County. Pederson’s grandparents (Pederson & Herfindahl) immigrated from Norway and homesteaded north of Williston, N.D.