About Aksel Kolstad

English:

Aksel Kolstad, a Metier Artist in Residence, born 1981 in Oslo - Norway, completed his bachelor degree under Prof. Sigurd Slåttebrekk at The Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo in 2006. He completed his master degree at the same adacemy and also with Prof Slåttebrekk, performing George Gershwin´s piano concertos. Kolstad begun takeing piano-lessons when he was four years old. When he turned twelve the legendary professor Eva Sandvik Stugu embraced him and made sure he got everything he needed to develop his talent, until the end of his teenage years.

 

 

 

Kolstad has performed in most of the biggest chambermusic festivals in Norway and has also performed much in Estonia and Russia, where he has had a lot of TV and radio performances as well. He had his debut concert in Carnegie Hall in October 2010 with a full house and a standing ovation. Kolstad studied composition with Wolfgang Plagge and has since the age of 17 performed his own virtuoso works for piano solo in many countries all over the world already. He has also conducted many of his orchestral works. Kolstad opened the world´s first classical concert café, Café de Concert, in Oslo in 2009. Today it has become his atelier where hundreds of people gather to see him perform. American press has called him "The New Victor Borge". Swedish press has called him "The Franz Liszt of our time".

"The Franz Liszt of our time" - Göteborgsposten
"Quentin Tarantino of classical music" - TIME Magazine
"Classical pioneer" - Dagsavisen
"Kolstad´s Gershwin performances are brilliant" Tønsberg blad
"The New Norwegian Victor Borge" - Jeffrey Gurian, comedy writer
"What Aksel does which sometimes amazes the audience the most
is that he turns the concert in to a story-telling magical moment."
- Cappuccino Concerts, Perth, Australia

 

Norsk:

Aksel Kolstad, Metier Artist, født i 1981, fullførte sin bachelor-degree under Sigurd Slåttebrekk ved det utøvende kandidatstudiet i klaver ved Norges Musikkhøgskole våren 2006. Han avsluttet sin master-degree ved samme institusjon i 2008 med fordypning i alle George Gershwins klaverkonserter. Kolstad ble så tatt opp som eneste pianist ved det prestisjetunge Professional Studies ved Manhattan School of Music i New York, USA, men valgte å takke nei på grunn av sitt voksende Café de Concert-konsept som ble støttet med tett oppunder en halv million av Innovasjon Norge i 2008. Den legendariske pianopedagogen Eva Sandvik Stugu la mye av grunnlaget i tenårene hans for at han har nådd så langt som han har i dag.

De solistiske oppgavene er mange og varierte, alt fra ulike symfoniorkestre og etablerte ensembler til kunstnerisk lederskap av "Mozart under Coconuts and Palm trees"-festivalen i Karibia. Kolstad er også aktiv som dirigent for ulike sammensatte orkestre. Kolstad har spilt på flere av de største kammermusikk-festivalene i Norge i tillegg til sin egen Café de Concert-festival som i en årrekke har hatt base i Fredrikstad og som nå har slått rot på Tjuvholmen i Oslo. Han er gründer og kunstnerisk ansvarlig for Café de Concert, som åpnet verdens første klassiske konsertcafé i 2009 på Solli plass i Oslo. Dét året produserte Kolstad  konserter hver eneste dag på Café de Concert. I februar 2011 åpnet han galleriversjonen av Café de Concert på Tjuvholmen. Kolstad gjestet Gloger-festspillene, Nordlysfestivalen, Trondheim Kammermusikkfestival og Tallinn Chambermusic Festival i 2011 og siden den gang har han vært veldig ettertraktet i både nasjonale og internasonale festivaler. 18. april 2012 åpnet han et nytt lokale for Café de Concert, som nå har blitt et hans atelier. Han har mottatt en rekke priser og vært prisvinner i Ungdommens pianomesterskap i sine yngre år. Kolstad har studert komposisjon under Wolfgang Plagge, og har komponert hundrevis av verk for alt fra solo instrumenter til verk av orkestral art.
Kolstads musikk er publisert på Musikk-Husets Forlag og er medlem i Norsk Komponistforbund. Aksel Kolstad har figurert mye på tv og radio i Russland og Tallinn, der han også holder til mye. Kolstad skrev nylig ferdig sin ballett, Sagaen om Isfolket, etter tillatelse fra Margit Sandemo.  6. mai 2010 ble Kolstad tildelt den  prestisjetunge Kjell Bækkelund-prisen på 100.000 kr. Kolstad debuterte i Carnegie Hall, New York, 10 oktober 2010 med fullt hus og stående applaus i Weill Recital Hall, og amerikansk presse har for lengst beskrevet ham som en ny Victor Borge. Kolstad tilbringer mye tid i New York og konserterer mye på det anerkjente WMP (Workshop for Music Performances).

Med sitt Aksel Kolstad Show briljerer han med egne komposisjoner og eget stand up materiale som har fått stående ovasjoner i flere av de største konsertsalene, verden over. Göteborgsposten har beskrevet Kolstad for "Nåtidens Franz Liszt".

"The Franz Liszt of our time" - Göteborgsposten
"Classical pioneer" - Dagsavisen
"Kolstad´s Gershwin performances are brilliant" Tønsberg blad
"The New Norwegian Victor Borge" - Jeffrey Gurian, comedy writer
"Quentin Tarantino of classical music" - Fredrikstad blad
"What Aksel does which sometimes amazes the audience the most
is that he turns the concert in to a story-telling magical moment."
- Cappuccino Concerts, Perth, Australia

MORE ABOUT AKSEL KOLSTAD

When Aksel Kolstad was two years old he asked his mother, pointing at the moon, if they could go there. His mother replied that "It may be just a bit too far away, Aksel". Then he immediately replied: "But we can use a ladder!?" 27 years later he wrote Richard Branson, asking if he could be the first musician to perform in space on Branson´s Virgin Galactic. This is somehow the best discription one could give Aksel Kolstad - makeing crazy and imaginative ideas come to life. Aksel started to play the piano and compose as soon as he was big enough to sit on a chair. His mother, former actress and singer Kirsti Kolstad started to improvise with little Aksel at the piano. At the age of four he started to take piano lessons each week with a piano teacher, the rest is history.
When Aksel was a child he liked to march around in the streets with many different instruments on top of a snare drum he had attached to his waist and played on all instruments, one after another. His mother and father were marching behind him, also with various instruments. His mother would put storybooks with pictures on the piano and Aksel would play the music he heard through looking at the pictures. Aksel loves fairytales. He made his own once, a story between him and the Sweedish Princess Madeleine. He wanted to make an urban fairytale and put music to it. So he became a royal pianist in His Majesty The King of Norway´s Royal Guard and wrote music for the Sweedish Princess and invited her to the soldier´s pramn night. This story is known almost all over Norway. Aksel´s father, Leon Hazan, was amongst a million things also the national basketball coach for Norway. Aksel played piano and basketball together until he was 17, then he had to choose. He chose music as a profession, but kept wearing his basketball sneakers. He considers usicians as athletes. And he mostly wears the colorful suits from Moods of Norway when performing solo. When he performs at Café de Concert, his own concept, he performs in jeans and t-shirt. Aksel is a classical rebell. He wants to make a cultural revolution. He fears nobody, and encludes everyone. He is probably the most fit pianist in the world, as he puts it him self: I may not the the world´s greatest pianist of all time, but I certainly may be the most fit classical pianist. Aksel loves to improvise live on stage and writes as easily for large ochestras as well as for piano solo. He puts together orchestras, writes for them, and cunducts them. But what Aksel does which sometimes amazes the audience the most is that he turns the concert in to a story-telling magical moment. Aksel is concidered as much of an actor as he is a msician. He collects alcohol, but doesn´t toch it him self. He likes to get wine for his birthday, then he stores it, and invites his friends for a house concert, serving the wine he was given - now giving it back, only with an even better taste. Aksel loves to play basketball, go kayaking, water-skiing, skiing on snow (as he is a typical Norwegian) and he adores to do pull-ups. He does over 50 pullups. Each birthday Aksel makes all of his friends sorrund him in a circle, counting 100 and the age he is celebrateing in push-ups. He allways carries his business cards on him, even when jogging. In addition to Norwegian he speaks, French, English, Turkish, quite well german and some italian. He loves to dive from high clifs and gets a rush out of meeting new people.