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.  

Los Angeles and Moods of Norway - here we come!

Moods of Norway is opening their U.S. Flagship Store in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles on July 8th and Café de Concert has been so fortunate to be able to perform for them during the opening. Catharina Chen, violin, and Aksel Kolstad, piano, will be playing Svendsen, Bull, Halvorsen and Grieg amongst other great composers, wearing Moods-design.

A Steinway & sons grand piano is sponsored by David Anderson. Thanks David!! You rock!

We're opening our own café September 16th 2009!

Today is the day Café de Concert has been aiming at since 2003 - today we signed a contract making it possible for us to open our own café in Oslo on September 16th, 2009! The café is the former Café Frölich, where we have been performing since the concept had its first season in 2003. What joy it will be to finally play inside windows with the Café de Concert logo!

We believe this is the first café ever to exclusively perform classical music!
Let´s make history together! Come listen and play at Café de Concert!
Next stop - New York!

Spring season finale!

Café de Concert is becoming more and more like the reality-show "An Amazing Race" - as it conquers more cities, countries, exotic islands, performing everywhere from cafées to airplanes, on ships and in the jungle.

This season has been so exiting, especially with concerts in Russia, USA and Sweeden. All thank´s to Innovation Norway´s contribution to the foundation Café de Concert. The last concert for the spring season left us all breathless. Ladies and gentlemen, watch out for this young, beautiful and ultra gifted pianist - Ingunn Tennøe. Never in our lives have we seen such a blossoming artist on stage. What ever you do, don´t miss the next concert with this exceptional musician. Her carisma is outstanding, her personality is refreshing and her playing is marvelous.

Another artist Café de Concert is very happy to collaborate with is June´s profiled artist of CdC, Tine Thing Helseth (trumpet). Her playing is worshiped internationally by so many critics and she has already become an international star in the classical world. She will be seen and heard often at Café de Concert in the future.

There are also so many other great, young artists Café de Concert has had the pleasure of presenting to the rest of the world. And we will continue to do just that. Presenting musicians and creating a market for them to play in. A vision Café de Concert has had since its birth in 2003.

We like to use the term "direct marketing" as our strongest weapon in public relations. Therefore we always try to perform where big windows next to the streets can show people walking by what great atmosphere classical music can make in the right surroundings - in cafés. The philosophy of Café de Concerts "direct marketing" all began with our artistic director´s Café de Concert bicycle, where he´d ride it up and down the streets of Oslo, throwing roses at people with concert-programs attacted to them. That´s what we like to call "direct marketing with great impact".

Café de Concert has no limits. The sky is no longer the limit for us - and we will show you just high we can get up...buckle up, friends, your in for the ride of your life!!

Enjoy the summer and leap into the skies and fly with us!

A new video in the making!

Last year Café de Concert made it´s first music video directed by
Aksel Kolstad (who seems to really make a habbit of doing
things he´s actually not suppose to be able to do....).

Café de Concert took the giant leap into music video making to make
a statement to the rest of the classical world: "Hey guys - let´s not
have our asses glued to the chairs in the orchestra
pits...Let´s join the rest of the musicians all over the world - on
MTV". Café de Concert has now just begun doing it´s second music
video, this time directed by Robin Alexander Eriksen, a young
promising student-actor at the American Academy of dramatic and arts
- circling towards becoming a film director. Café de Concert is also
planning to make movies of a larger scale in the future. And the
pilot for that will be a short film of 30 min, presumably with a
famous young star in the lead, right after the one beeing worked on now is finished.

In this one, Michelle Alexandra is the lead, supported by 12 fine young students,
like Robin, also from the American Academy of dramatic and arts.
Alia, Daniel, Betsy, Leah, Victoria, Garry, J.J, Jessica, Jared,
Caleb, Giordana and Derek - a big thank you to you guys for beeing
such great sports and contributing with great skills to this music
video. It all started with three scenes in Central Park, NY...let´s
wait and see what Robin has got up his sleeve for the rest of the
music by Arvo Pärt - Fratres - which will be recorded by Catharina
Chen and Aksel Kolstad in near future with our sound engineer Morgan

Success at The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel

After a day of sightseeing, water activities, exercising and relaxing in the sun by the waterfront in D.C. we headed over to the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel to perform the final concert on our May '09 US tour. We had a great night in this wonderful venue with such a warm atmosphere, playing Brahms, Mozart and Kreisler like never before! After the concert we hung out with some new friends from D.C. (picture shows Aksel performing in this super cool Moods of Norway pants)

We give our warmest thanks to the Norwegian embassy for all your support in D.C. and will come back any time! Just give us a call and we're there!

Performing at the Norwegian ambassadors residence

Yesterday we performed at the Norwegian ambassadors wonderful residence in Washington D.C. Beautifully decorated with Norwegian furniture, fantastic art and a great Steinway & Sons piano, this place is just breathtaking! We were really excited to play for the employees at the Norwegian embassy and consulate in Washington, and we're looking forward to do it again some time!

We're in Washington!

Wow this place is great! We're located in wonderful Georgetown, in the Northwest quadrant of Washington, a part of the city that is packed with great restaurants, bars and shops. Just a couple of hours after checking in at the hotel, we were heading for the Tryst, a nice location for a short concert.

The café didn't have a piano, so Catharina performed a couple of solo pieces for violin with great ovations from the audience. At the same time we promoted the concert at The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel.

Concert at the Norwegian Seamen's church

On thursday, we once again performed at the Norwegian Seamen's Church. It was good to be back in this wonderful venue on Manhattan. Even though the weather was great, we managed to fill up the place. The program was filled with music for violin, piano, clarinet and spoken word. Aksel also dedicated his newly written piece "La Follia" to Frode at NSC.

It was very nice to see that a lot of people we had invited during the last couple of days showed up. Personal invitations has always been a part of Café de Concert, and it's cool to see that it works in New York as well as in Norway. Thanks to you guys at NSC for all your help!

Café de Concert takes to the skies!

Yesterday we took to the skies with NYC-JC's associated helicopter service.
Just a phone call to Atle at NYC-JC, and before we knew it, we were up in the air, hoovering over Manhattan, the statue of liberty and New Jersey. Atle and Jarl, your new apartments look just awesome from the sky! It was great to see this amazing city from above on this wonderful day with not a single cloud in sight. It' gives you a special sensation to see Ground Zero, Central Park, Empire State Building etc. from this angle.

Together in the helicopter were Catharina, Michelle, Hilde Barsnes from the Norwegian seamen's church and Morgan.

At the same time, Aksel was invited to the CBS Studios in Brooklyn by the Emmy Award Winning Norwegian Makeup Artist Anette Lian-Williams. There he met with one of the producers working at CBS and a lot of other very interesting people.
Lian-Williams is now preparing a couple of projects together with Café de Concert combining classical music and fashion/film, a fusion Café de Concert has just recently started to experiment with.

Aksel had an amazing meeting with the famous and talented Norwegian actress Ewa Da Cruz, also working for the CBS in the soap opera As the World Turnes. She was kind enough to find the time between filming to talk with Aksel who came back to the rest of the gang with tons of ideas.
Ewa Da Cruz is a superb young actress Café de Concert is very exited to do an eventual collaboration with, which would be a short film by Café de Concerts movie director Robin Alexander Eriksen. We wish her good luck with all of her projects soon to come. Café de Concert is a big fan!!

And who knows, perhaps the CBS would be interested in a Café de Concert-show in the future? We´ll just have to wait and see...

Celebrating Norway's national day

At our NYC-JC apartment, Norway's national day - May 17th, was kicked off with
117 push ups and the salut "God save the King and motherland! YES!" by Aksel.

We were also lucky to take part in the celebration of Norway's national day (May 17th) at the Norwegian seamen's church on Manhattan. It was a full house and was the most visited event of all times. Great music, both classical and jazz, Hanne Krog's great speach, hotdogs, ice cream and waffles put us all in the true 17th of May spirit! Aksel and Catharina played the story about "Ferdinand the bull" for the kids and later Johan Svendsen, Romanze and Johannes Brahms, Scherzo for violin and piano during the main ceremony. Thanks to Frode and the Norwegian seamen's church for letting us be a part of this wonderful tradition.

See more pictures in the mediacenter.

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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