The history of Café de Concert

Café de Concert began a few days before the 19th of June 2003 when Aksel Kolstad together with a colleague performed live on Midt i Musikken, a classical music program on NRK radio P2. During the program, the trial concert was announced, to be held at Kastanjen restaurant on Bygdøy Allé in Oslo. The trial concert on the 19th of June 2003 presented a wide variety of classical music with musicians from the Barratt Due Music Institute and the Norwegian State Academy of Music. Art/Photo exhibitions as well as ballet performances were also on the program, which lasted from 7 pm until well into the night. It was a huge success with over 150 people present. The opening concert on the 24th of September 2003 occurred at Café Frölich with 350 in attendance.

Season I lasted until Wednesday the 17th of December 2003 with an on average attendance of 100 people. Season II began on Wednesday the 7th of January 2004 with Ensamble de Chocolat (a concert with music and chocolate) and lasted until Wednesday the 26th of May 2004. Season III was also held at Café Frölich with great artists such as Håvard Gimse, Annar Follesø, The Oslo String Quartet and Wolfgang Plagge.
Season IV was held at Christian Kvart, by request of the Olav Thon Group. After the season opening the 12th of January, which was another success with another radio broadcast for NRK P2, the concept, directed by the Olav Thon Group, moved to Feber Concert House where the concept performed the final spring 2005 concert the 31st of March.

Season V, fall of 2005, was held at La Rosa Magra on Drammensveien. Spring 2006 Café de Concert began the Manor-concerts at Abildsø gård in Oslo. Spring 2008 Café de Concert began a new concert series at Café Frölich in Oslo. In 2009 Kolstad took over the whole place and renamed it Café de Concert, and it became the worlds first classical concert café. In 2011 he moved it down at the harbor in Oslo, Tjuholmen, the most posh place in Oslo. And there the concept has grown into a concert gallery as well as a café, which now is his atelier where he works and performs – serving the audience campagne and hot dogs!

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