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The ministry of fiddles at Nisswa-stämman

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NISSWA — Nisswa-stämman Scandinavian Folk Music Festival will be held June 8-9 — going into its 13th year.

The festival will feature 140 folk musicians performing on three stages, day-long dancing opportunities on two dance floors, dance instruction, a cultural children’s activity/performance tent and great Scandinavian food all under the shade of the majestic Norway pines of the Nisswa Pioneer Village in Nisswa.

As in previous years, yet another special line up of award winning musicians from Scandinavia has been arranged. They include: Syvers ensemble, Norway — award winning oldtime music ensemble, awarded second place in the 2010 Landsfestivalen i gammeldansmusikk in Norway; Perras ensemble, Norway — button accordion group; Anders and Maria Larsson — two of Sweden’s most versatile folk musicians; Torbjörn and Pär Näsbom, Sweden — master musicians on nyckelharpa and fiddle; and last but not least, the festival’s featured group, the up and coming young Danish trio, Fiolministeriet.

Fiolministeriet, The Fiddle Ministry, is a string trio comprising Kirstine Sand, Kirstine Elise Pedersen and Ditte Fromseier Mortensen. The group was formed in 2007 as part of fiddle player Kirstine Sands solo CD project “The Dancing Couple.” Kirstine Sand, violin and vocals, comes from a family of well known folk musicians and dancers. She has lived and breathed Danish traditional music for her entire life. She is trained at the academy in Odense as well as in Newcastle (UK). Ditte Fromseier, viola, violin, guitar and voice, started her musical life at the age of 4 and has now played her way around the world. Ditte is assistant professor and head of the folk music department at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts Southern Denmark. Kirstine Elise Pedersen, cello and vocals, is the top folk cello player of Denmark. Her swingy and virtuosic cello playing is heard in many different constellations, among them, in Harald Haugaard’s quintet. Kirstine finished her training at the prestigious soloist course at the Academy in Odense in 2011 and is not only a great folk musician but also a highly regarded classical player.

Drawing much of their material from 18th century song collections and their home islands of Fuen and Bornholm, Fiolministeriet has a powerful and rhythmic sound with the cello adding a solid underpinning, which is quite unusual in folk music. At times their arrangements sound quite classical in nature, like on “Gottlob Minuet”; at other times, they sound very traditional with the two violins playing in harmony. By offering such a different take on traditional music they open it up and expand the possibilities for this music in the future. New Danish folk music continues to be the most exciting music in Europe these days, and Fiolministeriet definitely adds to its glory. Fiolministeriet, and all of the groups from Scandinavia can be seen and heard at the Friday night, June 8 concert, at the Lutheran Church of the Cross, and at the festival on Saturday, June 9 at the Pioneer Village, in Nisswa.

For much more information go to, or call Paul Wilson at (218) 764-2994.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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