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.  

We're open!

Today we had the first concert of many at our new café in Oslo!
As usual, the café was filled with an enthusiastic audience eager to hear what we had planned for this special evening. On tonights menu stood a mix of chamber orchestra, violin, piano trio, a small theatrical performance and of course plenty of hilarous stories between the peaces.
During the rehersals, we got a visit from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation who made a news story about us, airing the same night at the evening news. You can see it here at 08:44

We're also proud to announce that there will be held at least one classical concert a day from this day on. Remember to keep up to date on our concert calendar.

Why is Harlekin crying - a post festival story

The circus is closed. Everybody went home. The streets are empty, and Harlekin has nowhere to go, his home has closed for the night. He strolls up the narrow streets, looking through window glasses. The rooms are all dark, everybody is a sleep. In the very end of the street lies a little café nobody goes to. Only Harlekin knows of it. He opens the café-door. A small candle is lit on one of the tables, next to a painting of Mona Lisa.

Harlekin smiles with tears in his eyes when he sees it. Mona Lisa knows Harlekin well. She likes when he comes to visit late at night. Next to Mona Lisa is an old piano. Harlekin sits down next to the piano and looks at the music lying on it. It´s the Goldberg-variations by Bach. Harlekin starts to cry. So does Mona Lisa. Halrekin starts to play. Then he looks at Mona Lisa and plays Bach the way she likes it.

Listen to Aksel Kolstad: Harlekins variations
(Live from the Fredrikstad Café de Concert-festival 2009)

Fredrikstad Café de Concert Festival 2009

Fredrikstad CdC festival 2009 is over for now and we're now preparing for the opening of the café in Oslo. During the 12 concerts spanning from solo piano to chamber orchestra and saxophone, the audience got to enjoy live classical music in numerous cafés in Fredrikstad. Thanks to all the cafés for generously opening the doors for us to perform in a unique atmosphere!

This year, we had extra focus on children and teenagers as they usually don't get exposed to classical music. On friday Aksel and Andrijana, the new producer for Norway, visited Greåker VGS to play for the students. The result was that many of the students showed up on the concerts the following days.

As you can see, our audience span from children to senior citizens.
We want to thank you for your participation in our festival!

And a huge thanks goes out to our sponsors, especially the staff at Radisson Blu for taking such good care of us.

Feel free to visit the media center gallery for more pictures.

Fredrikstad Café de Concert Festival

The traditional Fredrikstad CdC festival is being held at several concert venues throughout Fredrikstad these days. Since the opening concert on thursday, both young talents and established musicians have given café concerts in both traditional and untraditional venues. In high schools, intimate stages and cafés, we're trying to inspire and entertain our audience with a repertoire ranging from light classical music to contemporary music.

We're now half way through the festival, but a lot of great concerts are scheduled over the coming days. Worth mentioning is several concert with Fredrikstad Chamber Orchestra and a concert at Norways probably smallest venue - det konglelige norske humormuseum..

We hope to see you at the coming concerts and be sure to check out our festival site.

Feel free to check out the gallery in our media center.

Producer seminar at the café

Today we had the first producer seminar at the café. The main goal was to teach about the different parts of the CdC experience, to ensure that each and every concert will have that special CdC touch. From verbal presentation, dress code, programming, Aksel guided the producers through an evening at the café.

Successful press conference!

The press conference was absolutely packed with people and the atmosphere was extatic!
A lot of press showed up and Bjarne, Jan, Dimitris and Aksel gave a hell of a performance making the audience go completely nuts! We are finally there! Living our dream - we have created a new and urban café where classical music reaches out to EVERYBODY...every day! A place where musicians and other artists can meet and unite forces. Many thank´s to Stephan Barratt-Due and Eirik Birkeland representing both of the music institutions in Oslo who showed up for the press conference and did a very important live radio interview!

Come, enjoy Café de Concert at Henrik Ibsensgt. 60 A, in Oslo!

Preparing for tomorrows press conference

As we're about to open our own café in Oslo, the final details before wednesday's press conference are taken care of. New logos in the windows, new menus, a small art exhibition with works by Monika Helgesen is just a few things.. Norsk Skilt-Gravering made very tasteful new logos in frosted white film. Thanks for all your help guys! Aftenposten also stopped by to do an interview.

We're all very exited about tomorrows press conference, and are looking forward to see a packed café once again! See you all there!

New logo up with the help of Norsk Skilt-Gravering!

Aksel and artist in residence Monika Helgesen

Photoshoot with the national newspaper Aftenposten

Café de Concert : Oslo - press conference

August 12th is the day we'll present the future of Café de Concert, the official CdC café in Oslo.

During the press conference the media and audience will get an introduction to the concept together with music performed by Bjarne Magnus Jensen, violin, Jan Clemens Carlsen, cello, Dimitris Kostopolous, piano and Aksel Kolstad, piano.

You can also enjoy the small art exhibition with works by Monika Helgesen.

After the press conference we'll have a party, of course!

We'll promise you that our very first CdC café will be a great place to enjoy music, meet old and new friends and maybe go on a date in a great atmosphere with art forms that definitely will soothe your senses.

Bring your friends and come early! The place is going to be packed!

Performing at the Moods of Norway flagship store

Preparation in the store just before the kick-off concert..

Piano technician David Andersen listening carefully.

Then came the moods-guys, Peder, Simen and Stefan, eager to listen to what we were preparing for the big event.

Found some supercool moods design..

And then.. it all went down like this:

The three genious Moods of Norway-designers got all of the 200 celebrity guests' attention..

And then we rocked the place!

You can also watch a video from the event!
KatTalesTV is the youtube channel of the artist Kat, which Café de Concert is very fond of! Her work is raw, uncensored, honest and very catchy.

Catching up with Moods of Norway in Los Angeles

So we finally caught up with the "moody" gang in LA in their supercool new store on Robertson blvrd. Simen, Peder and Stefan stroke more than one great pose for a group picture together with violinist Catharina Chen, Aksel Kolstad and a new and fresh addition to the Café de Concert administration, Annick Welhaven Føyen.

And then came the amazing Steinway grand piano from David Anderson rolling down the street...Now we´re ready to blow the roof top away for tomorrows grand opening-concert at Moods of Norway with Catharina Chen, violin, and Aksel Kolstad, piano at 8 pm!

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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