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Fire and Ice Concert of Norwegian Fjords and Colorado Rockies Touring at SVC

The Fire and Ice concert tour featuring three world premieres by Norwegian and American composers will take place at Southern Vermont College’s Everett Theatre on Monday, April 24, at 12 p.m. The tour spans three states: New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts. The event, which includes a movie, is free and open to the public.

This concert will feature world premieres of three new works by Norwegian and American composers: Bjorn Bolstad Skjelbred, Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen, and Conrad Kehn, and a new solo by Magnar Am. Skjelbred will be flying in from Oslo to host all seven concerts in the tour. Colorado-based composer Kehn’s newly-created silent film will be accompanied by live music. Performers include Michael Gilbert Ronstadt (cello), Eric Despard (guitar), and Rocco Anthony Jerry (accordion).

Norwegian Composer Skjelbred is internationally known for his chamber and orchestral music and has received commissions from Oslo Philharmonic and Nordic Voices, among many other ensembles. He has also served as the Vice-President of the Norwegian Society of Composers. Skjelbred’s compositions have been performed worldwide including in Ukraine, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, Iceland, Canada, China, Belgium, and United States. More information on Skjelbred is available at

Composer Aagaard-Nilsen is internationally known for his compositions for concert band, wind, and brass ensembles; non-wind chamber; and vocal works. Among Aagaard-Nilsen’s hundreds of compositions, his concert band publications are especially popular. He is also director of The Brasswind Contemporary Music Festival in Bergen. His music appears on more than 20 CDs. He has composed for The Royal Norwegian Navy Band and Staff Band of Norwegian Armed Forces. Aagaard-Nilsen teaches music theory, arrangement, and composition at Manger Folkehogskule. More information on Aagaard-Nilsen is available at

Composer Kehn’s new work is “Soundtracks to Movies That Don’t Exist.” Kehn’s works bridge the gap between film, chamber music, and popular music. He is also the director of The Playground Ensemble, Colorado’s leading New Music ensemble. His recent commissions include the 2015 Biennial of the Americas, itchy-O, and the Colorado State Music Teachers Association. More information on Kehn is available at

Norwegian Composer Am receives the State Guaranteed Income for Artists. This honor guarantees his income every year until he retires, and it gives him great compositional freedom. He lives in Volda, where he teaches Intuitive Composition/Improvisation, and Music Philosophy at Volda University College. More information on Am is available at

Cincinnati-based cellist Ronstadt performs more than 300 yearly performances specializing in jazz. He comes from a long line of musicians including his father, Michael J.; brother, Petie; and aunt, Linda Ronstadt. He has appeared on more than 50 albums and is a core member of the group, Ronstadt Generations. The Tucson Citizen noted him as “amazing command of the typical and exotic sounds of the cello, a true virtuoso and a man of instinctive musicality.” More information on Ronstadt is available at

Vermont-based guitarist Eric Despard performs in chamber music, rock, and jazz groups. He is Affiliate Artist at Middlebury College, an Instructor of Guitar at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and Music Director and Assistant Professor in The Hunter Division of Humanities at Southern Vermont College. Despard performs through North America as a soloist and with chamber ensembles. More information on Despard is available at

New York-based accordionist Jerry specializes in contemporary classical music and many of his new works have premiered for his instrument.

This event is sponsored by Arts Council Norway, Norwegian Society of Composers, The Composers’ Remuneration Fund, American-Scandinavian Foundation – Andrew E. and G. Norman Wigeland Fund, The Troy Public Library, Music Norway and the Foreign Office, and Southern Vermont College.

For more information on the Fire and Ice tour, contact Despard at or 802-681-2889.

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