Café de Concert



Today - Café de Concert has become the atelier and concert gallery of the young and multitalented pianist and composer Aksel Kolstad. It took him 10 years to brand this concept and turn it into one of the most original and innovating classical concepts in the world. Here´s the story behind...... The Idea The origin and still driving force behind Café de Concert is to present classical music to a larger audience. The genre has by no means the same appeal as pop, rock or jazz. Creating a more relaxed atmosphere, and not to forget Kolstad´s magical ability to present classical music with humor and showmanship, it all results in a more intimate and fun concert format than the traditional solemn style. The idea that classical music can once again become popular music, the way it once was, is the motivation behind the concept Café de Concert. Classical concerts at cafés – Café de Concert recruits musicians, both students and professionals, to play classical music for the people. The goal is to stimulate as well as strengthen everyone’s interest in classical music. The level of musicianship is high, and with a relaxed, positive atmosphere, between the pieces, it is possible to have a cup of coffee, have something to eat or perhaps talk with the person sitting beside you. Café de Concert is an arena for all creative arts. In addition to musical performances, there are regular arts exhibitions and ballet/modern dance performances directed by CdC.  

UMM musicians at Cafe de Concert for the first time

Elfi Marie Øhre Marcussen, cello Joseph Haydn cellokonsert i C major, Allegro Molto. Mikael Aksnes-Pehrson, gitar Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Prelude no. 4 Xixi Marlene Karlstrøm, piano Franz Liszt: Rhapsodie no. 11 i a minor Seeing this photo brings me back in the days....when Cafe de Concert a concert café /concert venue with classical concerts EVERY day...boy, did I work my ass of when I was a student!!!

What a blast!!

Full house at Aksel´s "get together" last night! And what a blast we had!! He fired it up with a musical story about "a boy who couldn´t tell the difference between reality and fantasy, and as an adult never did either...." Wonder who THAT could be....?? Text and idea by Mr. Crazypants, music by Scubert, Schumann, Rachmaninov and Mr. Crazypants. Trio Mingo had a surprise performance for a much pleased audience playing 1st and 2dn movement from the Arensky piano trio!! Earlier that day they also showed up during opening hours at Café de Concert and performed the pieces to give Aksel a pleasant surprise. Aksel loved it, and of course invited them to play at the get together! What a qute story!

Music of Norway - classical music store is open

"Music of Norway", a classical music store is now open at Café de Concert. Standard repertoire and contemporary music on CD or on sheet music. Musikk-Huset is still alive. Come buy your christmas CD here!

New and improved

Ready set - play! Fantastic "get together" and vernissage with photographer Natalia Pipkina yesterday, huge turnout! New floor, new sound proof roof, basketball court on the floor, new photos, new christmas edition in the body shop concert toilet, DJ in the house, new BMW, NEW BOSTON GRAND PIANO from Steinway Piano Gallery....we had a blast. Hope to see you next time, will proooobably be one more go befor christmas :) 

Makio, prima ballerina from the Opera in Oslo - gave me her shoes from last nights performance. I was STARSTRUCK!!!!!

Prix Café de Concert

Last weekend Aksel hosted the superfinal of the Norwegian National Classical Music Competition "UMM", also beeing the front figur of the whole competition he made sure both the competitors and the audience would never forget this year´s competition. Cause Aksel did it - his way. He also performed and entertained the crowd with unthinkable things in a traditional concert hall. He also handed out a special prize, Prix Café de Concert. Congratulations to the young and very talented soprano Lydia Hoen, who totally melted Aksel´s ears and heart. "For great talent, impressive technique and the ability to think out of the box" were Aksel´s words before handing out his Prix Café de Concert - a little golden "magical" elephnat. The prize contains concerts and various art projects through Café de Concert. Aksel and Café de Concert has started to collaborate with the competition on a long term basis. To make sure the young generation gets what they need to survive in this concrete jungle. "I wish for this competition to become one of those track and field days in elementary school. Where everybody  wants to win at the same time as they are cheering for their classmates to win too. Even though we are soloists, we are allways chambermusicians" - Aksel Kolstad

Aschehoug book release of "Raushetens tid"

Aschehoug released the book "Raushetens tid" by Kathrine Aspaas on Oct 17th - was one hell of a book release, I´ll tell you that!!! Looking forward to more releases by Aschehoug and also other publishers. CdC - the place to be! Amongst other musicians the living legend Tor Espen Aspaas performed Rachmaninov like only he knows how....!! The author Kathrine Aspaas. Of course we served:

Aksel Kolstad - Munch Ambassador

Aksel Kolstad was from October 10th 2012 officially announced to be the first "Munch-artist" and an international "Edvard Munch Ambassador". - Kolstad will carry Munch on his musical and artistic shoulders, says Front-of-House Manager at the Munch Musesum in Oslo, Cécile Therond Hjelm. - Aksel Kolstad will revitalize the artist and provocateur Edvard Munch through his powerful music and his artistic projects world wide. Once a month Kolstad will give "Munch reflection-recitals" at the Munch museum in Oslo at the same time as his ateiler, Café de Concert at Tjuvholmen, will become the second home of the Munch museum.
"To me Munch is Shostakovitch mixed with deadly strawberries on canvas" - Aksel Kolstad
Yesterday evening this exciting partnership was launched and became official at Aksel Kolstad’s gallery Café de concert. It is the occasion to present the Munch Museum‘s newest exhibition, The Modern Eye, which is opening for the public the 31th of October. Aksel Kolstad will be the master of ceremony for the opening evening event of the exhibition on the 2nd of November, and promises you an evening like you’ve never experienced before.
"I think change is what’s needed in order to preserve art and that is what the Munch Museum does. By taking a new direction without changing the content, the Munch Museum is leading the way in a new artistic era we are now entering, surrounded by powerful and strong colours that dominate the media landscape.  I want to tattoo Munch on Norway’s chest!" says Kolstad.
"We’re looking forward to a new and exciting partnership with the very creative musician and entertainer Aksel Kolstad. We’re hoping this partnership between the museum and Aksel’s Café de concert will be an eye-opener for many and contribute to make Munch’s fantastic art more available to a greater public", says Cecile Therond Hjelm, Front-of-house Manager at the Munch Museum.

Café de Concert YouTube Channel

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.

Visit the old Café de Concert media centre HERE

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