Unique group at IMC

DUNSEITH – The New York Kammermusiker, a New York-based group that performs double-reed classical music, is returning to North Dakota for two July performances. The first will be in Fargo, July 10, and the second will be a departure for the group as they perform July 12 at the International Music Camp at the International Peace Gardens.

The New York Kammermusiker is a unique chamber ensemble that travels the world presenting a wide range of music from the Renaissance through Contemporary periods. This group is known for their experimental and improvisatory performances – often performing music written for their own unique sound – and for the excellence of their performances.

Formed in 1969 by North Dakota native Ilonna Pederson, this non-profit organization seeks to reintroduce the instruments and the music of the double-reed band to modern audiences. The group prepares modern scores from musical manuscripts they seek out in their travels so that they can bring the music of the shawm bands to modern listeners. The sound is full and resonant, as if a much larger group were playing. Many of the pieces are introduced and explained in a light and interesting manner; humor and good fun are always evident during their concerts.

This is the seventh consecutive year that the distinguished group has brought their musical ensemble to Pederson’s home state.

The New York Kammermusiker has included musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic, The New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Munich Bach Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic and the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra.

Preceding the concert is a short pre-concert theater performance featuring Bjorn Pederson. Also featured at the opening is Dr. Elmer Wassemuller, a retired surgeon from Wahpeton who picked up the oboe in his early 70s. Several years ago, when the group performed in Wahpeton, the retired physician-turned-oboist was introduced to Ilonna Pederson, who invited him to perform with the Kammermusiker ensemble the next year. Wassemuller, now in his 90s, takes oboe lessons with Jennifer Peterson, a Concordia College music faculty member, and has helped open the group’s last two Fargo concerts. He will once again play as a featured guest.

The Fargo performance is at the Avalon Events Center, 613 First Avenue North. The evening begins with the pre-concert theatre at 6:30 p.m. followed by the concert at 7 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the door.

The second performance will be held in the Burdick Center for the Performing Arts at the International Music Camp at the Peace Gardens at 8 p.m. Admission is free for all. For information, call 838-8472.