Speakers and performers will be celebrating Scandinavian trailblazers and pioneers of the 18th to 20th centuries – an appropriate topic for this year of celebration of Roald Amundsen’s historic expedition to the South Pole.
The public is invited to share “the time-honored spirit of a symposium, blending music, dining and the free exchange of ideas to enhance the pleasure of learning,” according to Howard Rockstad, Symposium founder/director.
Following an opening reception in the Scandinavian Center, the program will open Friday evening with a focus on Thor Heyerdahl and his bold 20th century Kon-Tiki and Ra expeditions. Donald Ryan of Pacific Lutheran College in Tacoma, Washington who served as Heyerdahl’s “right-hand man” during the last seven years of Heyerdahl’s life, will present “The Adventurous Life of Thor Heyerdahl,
The evening program, set in CLU’s Samuelson Chapel, will continue with a musical telling of a heroic but tragic 1897 attempt to reach the North Pole in a hot air balloon. “The Andrée Expedition: A Song Cycle by Dominick Argento” will be presented by baritone Christian Nova of Los Angeles Valley College and pianist Frank Garvey of Pierce College.
Danish-born Vitus Bering, the famous 18th century adventurer for whom the Bering Straits were named, will be saluted by Carol Urness, Curator Emerita of the University of Minnesota’s James Ford Bell Library, as the Saturday schedule gets underway in CLU’s Preus-Brandt Forum.
Markku Löytönen of the University of Helsinki in Finland will focus on Finnish-born Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld, the first explorer to sail through the long-sought Northwest Passage, a sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The historic crossing of the Northwest Passage by Roald Amundsen, and his leading the first team to reach the South Pole, will be highlighted in a presentation by a Norwegian explorer who plans to follow his footsteps next year. Liv Arnesen became the first woman to ski solo to the South Pole in 1994, and again in 2001 when she and Minnesota explorer Ann Bancroft became the first women in history to sail and ski across Antarctica’s landmass, a 94-day trek.
The afternoon program will conclude with Swedish guitarist Celia Linde’s blend of “Nordic Sound, Latin Flavor.” Hailing from Malmö, Linde will perform her unique variations of music from Swedish folk tunes to contemporary Latin American and Spanish music, as well as her own classical compositions.
Capping the day’s presentations will be a dinner at 7 p.m., Saturday, in the Lundring Events Center, with music by LeRoy Anderson.
Admission to the Nordic Spirit Symposium is $20 for the Friday event, and $40 for Saturday. Both days are free for students.
For information and early registration fees, call (818) 788-4552 or e-mail seeallan@sbcglobal.net.
Further information is available online at www.scandinaviancenter.org.