KSMQ TV to Broadcast Michael & Bonnie Jorgensen’s Work on Theodora Cormontan

Posted on January 26th, 2017 by

Bonnie & Michael Jorgensen at the Cormontan Recital/Lecture in Björling Recital Hall

KSMQ, public television for southern Minnesota and northern Iowa, will be airing a feature about Norwegian composer and pianist Theodora Cormontan as part of the station’s locally produced program “Off 90” series on arts and history of the region. The feature follows the research on Cormontan’s life and work by Gustavus music voice Professor Michael Jorgensen Pianist Bonnie Jorgensen. The piece is scheduled to air on KSMQ on Thursday, February 2 at 7 p.m. and again on the following Saturday, February 4 at 5 p.m.  It will also be posted to YouTube.

Theodora Cormontan immigrated to the United States in 1887 leaving a thriving performance and composition career in Norway. She continued to work as a church musician, a performer and a composer throughout her life. After her death in 1922, her compositions were lost for 90 years until boxes of manuscripts were discovered in an attic in St. Peter, Minnesota, and given to the Jorgensens. Their curiosity and subsequent research brought Cormontan’ music back to stages across the Midwest and, in 2015, were returned to he National Library (Nasjonalbiblioteket) in Oslo, Norway.

The program will share some of Cormontan’s story and information about the return of her manuscripts to Norway in 2015.  A camera crew from KSMQ attended a September 2016 recital at Gustavus to capture a Cormontan concert performed by the Jorgensens and musicians who traveled to Oslo with them the previous year.  The television feature will include some of the music of Theodora Cormontan presented on that day. They also interviewed long-time St. Peter resident Barb Nelson, the person who owned the attic and gave Theodora’s music to Bonnie and Michael.

KSMQ is carried by Dish Network and DirecTV, and by cable operators in southeast Minnesota.  In Mankato, it is available alongside KTCA on Charter Cable.  It also looked like TPT MN broadcasts “Off 90” on Tuesdays.  They will also post it on YouTube, probably sometime during the week of February 6.


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