Winds of Freedom Symphony Finds Russian-Soviet Roots: Alex Ayzin’s Family See Themselves in Music, Its Creation & Peace Mission

Finding the hidden meaning in the creative process can be vexing, often proving difficult to fathom for years, decades or a lifetime, maybe it never happens. Vindication on taking the hard road can be bittersweet, like when Winston Churchill was proven all too right about Hitler, or beyond the scope, like how the iPhone changed the world far beyond what Steve Jobs ever imagined. Alex Ayzin, creator of the Winds of Freedom Symphony & Multimedia Presentations, is finding new meaning in the creative process as the peace movement around a project he has lived with for decades gains speed.

Photos of Ilya Ayzin in Odessa, Ukraine with his wife, Fenya, and her Mother Lucy. He is in his Soviet Naval Officer uniform.

Ilya Azyin, Alex Ayzin’s father, visiting wife Fenya and her mother, Lucy, in Odessa on the Black Sea.

That new meaning comes from something lost in the welter of everyday life, something buried in the fight for recognition, something millions of people neglect in this busy work-a-day world: His own story, the family from where that story sprang along with their struggle for survival in a land with a complex and fascinating history, Russia. Out of everything in Soviet-Russia that Alex saw, felt, knew, revered, respected, loved, hated and escaped from is wrapped up in his motivation to commission, as a private citizen, two symphonies in an effort to change the world.

The first symphony was Concerto for Astronauts, in the wake of Challenger disaster, and second was Winds of Freedom, commissioned after the Chernobyl meltdown in his homeland, Ukraine. Long after the WOF symphony was completed, Alex Ayzin decided to combine the WOF’s innovative musical score, which he had a hand in producing with Russian composer Emilian Sichkin, with stirring video and still images to create a media event that celebrates life, teaches history, inspires peace and hopes for a better future.

Logo of Winds of Freedom Foundation with words Give Peace a Change over a globe topped with a dove carrying an olive branch, the classic symbol of peace. As the WOF campaign began to unfold in summer 2017, a new PR team member realized how unique the Alex Ayzin Story was and the deeper he dug the more strikingly amazing it became. Informed by Ayzin that he wished to stay in the background, this team member, figuratively, broke a stick over his back in the effort to make him realize He was the story, people will want to know His motivation, where He came from, how His Story manifested itself in driving him to do something NO PRIVATE CITIZENS in our world do; Commission Symphonies to Change the World.

A terrific photo of Ilya Ayin and Winds of Freedom creator Alex Ayzin.

Alex and his father checking out new Winds of Freedom website.

Alex Ayzin relented and it has changed the Winds of Freedom Story.

Now for the final piece of the puzzle:

In early August, Alex went to visit his elderly parents with his brother. Viewing this new approach to a project they found difficult to fathom, his Father, a Soviet Naval Officer before they came West, and loving Mother began to understand more fully and here is the key realization that needs to be acknowledged. Alex Ayzin’s parents and grandparents are in the music; Alex Ayzin’s family going back generations are in the music; Alex Ayzin’s Russian homeland is in the music; Alex Ayzin’s upbringing, story of escape from the Soviet Union and finding new life in America are in the music.

As much as Concerto for Astronauts and Winds of Freedom were gifts to the world, they were Alex Ayzin’s gifts to his Father and Mother. Here is where everything starts and stops. Now they know this in their hearts and for Alex it is like being ten-years old and finding a brand-new bike underneath the Christmas Tree, it means everything and more. Thanks Be To God!   

Alex Ayzin Visits the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change During 2017 Rotary Presidential Peace Conference in Atlanta

At the extreme last minute, on a trip sponsored by Mullen Technologies Electric Cars, Alex Ayzin, peace activist and creator of Winds of Freedom Symphony & Multi-Media Presentations, and Dennis Mathews, an African-America U.S. Marine disabled and former federal weapons contractor, attended the 2017 Rotary Presidential Peace Conference in Atlanta, June 9-10, at the Georgia World Congress Center. This unlikely pair, a Soviet defector from a third-generation naval family and a combat veteran Marine who is a high-tech inventor moving into VA Tele-Health Medicine, were on a mission to spread a message of peace and freedom by telling their stories, bringing attention to Ayzin’s Winds of Freedom and forming alliances with like-minded individuals and organizations.

Alex Ayzin, founder of Winds of Freedom Foundation, meets United Nations Deputy Secretary General at the 2017 Rotary Presidential Peace Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Sec. Gen.

Alex Ayzin, creator of the Winds of Freedom Symphonies & Multimedia Presentations, meets Dr. Bernice King, CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, at the 2017 Rotary Presidential Peace Conference.

Dr. Bernice King

About 26,000 attendees were scheduled to attend the full Rotary International Convention, June 10-14, while the keynote speakers at the weekend 2017 Presidential Peace Conference were Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and Amina J. Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General for the United Nations. Dennis Mathews, whose company live streams events all over the world,, and Alex Ayzin met Dr. King while she was signing her father’s book, Where Do We Go From Here: Community or Chaos, and Amina Mohammed, executives from The Carter Center, a Hiroshima survivor and heard Bill Gates talk about his generous donations to eradicate polio around the world.

Dr. Houda Abadi, Associate Director at Carter Center’s Conflict Resolution Program, gave a intense presentation at the 2017 Rotary Presidential Peace Conference about countering Islamic Extremism. In this photo she is seen with Alex Ayzin, founder of the Winds of Freedom Foundation and a third generation naval officer who defected from the Soviet Union with his family in 1979.

Dr. Houda Abadi

One particularly fascinating speaker, Dr. Houda Abadi, Associate Director at Carter Center’s Conflict Resolution Program, laid out with detailed graphics how ISIS (Daesh) recruits young boys and girls, inducts them into the jihadist philosophy and then trains them in methods to inflict death and suffering on innocent men, women and children. She talked about the rise of ISIS (Daesh), its global impact, use of social media for recruitment and propaganda dissemination and measures for addressing radicalization and the response of Muslim communities in the West. Ayzin and Mathews met Abadi, a brave woman indeed, after her speech in their efforts to find working partners such as fine organizations like The Carter Center.

During one session, when the discussion centered around military intervention to prevent human rights abuses, there was an open mic and Ayzin, with nudging from Mathews, got up and briefly told the story about his family’s escape from Soviet tyranny in 1979, the creation and existence of the Winds of Freedom Symphony & Multimedia Presentations in his effort to bring a message of peace and hope to the world. The crowd gave him a round of applause after hearing the story about his family defecting from the Soviet Union in their quest to live in freedom and peace.

One of Alex Ayzin's peace heroes is Martin Luther King, Jr. and he is seen here paying respects at the final resting place of MLK, a place of peace and honor.

Alex Ayzin at final resting place of Martin Luther King, Jr. & Coretta Scott King.

Alex Ayzin, who commissioned two symphonies, Concerto for Astronauts and Winds of Freedom, as a private citizen seeking to make a better world, is seen here at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Change in Atlanta. The capstone of their brief, unexpected journey as roving peace activists was a visit to The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change, the Freedom Hall, the restored house where King was raised and the final resting place of King and wife beloved wife, Coretta Scott King. The inscriptions on their markers respectively are “Free at Last, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty I’m Free at Last” and from First Corinthians, 13:13, “And Now Abide, Faith, Hope, Love, These Three; but the greatest of theses is Love.”

Alex Ayzin was particularly moved by the experience of visiting the King memorials and it gave him pause to think that their journey to Atlanta, fraught with last minute preparations, blown plane reservations and frustrating timetables, was a gift from God. Dennis Mathews pushed him hard to attend and, against his own feelings, Ayzin took the plunge and it was well worth all the hassle and experience everything involved.

They met fascinating people, learned a lot and, most importantly, returned home inspired to keep fighting the good fight, just the U.S. Marines do everyday all around the world.

The house where Martin Luther King, Jr. grew was burned down and then rebuilt as a monument to his work and legacy. Alex Ayzin, creator of the Winds of Freedom Symphonies & Multimedia Presentations, is seen here looking plaintive as he contemplates the legacy of the great man. Obelisk at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change with Alex Ayzin of Winds of Freedom.

Winds of Freedom Visits MLK Monuments to Peace

Alex Ayzin is seen here contemplating the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. at his boyhood home in Atlanta, which was burned down and then reconstructed as a monument to his struggle for civil rights, peace and nonviolent change.