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.  

Chillin' in Hollywood Hills

We´re staying at the wonderful "Alice in wonderland-house" of the fantastic and most loving people ever - Vanessa and Ron Kenan. You guys are the best, thank you so much for opening up your arms to us! We look forward to come back with a chamber orchestra performing in your wonderful garden!

A pit stop in New York on the way to LA

A pit stop in NY before heading south-west. Michael Jackson´s breakthrough was at the famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Many great artist had their breakthrough at the Apollo and also performed there many times after that. It´s about time Café de Concert performed there too - so in 2010 you´ll see us there!

Many respects to the friends and family of Michael Jackson. He has actually been a great inspiration for Café de Concert - in my opinion he learned classical musicians how to groove. at least on the dancefloor.

Times Square - Bank of America with a grand piano inside..? Bank of America should be waiting for an e-mail from Café de Concert pretty soon..

Taking part of Creative Metropoles in Berlin

We were so fortunate to take part in the presentation of Creative Metropoles in Berlin in May. A project which urges to create a renaissance of art and culture in Berlin hand in hand with making money on it - an idea Café de Concert easily goes to battle for! Many thanks to Katrin Tobies from Berlin who was in charge of the whole event as well as Elina Kuzjukevica for initiating the Creative Metropoles project.. Special thanks to Therese Holm Thorvaldsen and Maria Komendantova from Oslo Teknopol for choosing Café de Concert as Norway´s representative from Norway´s cultural landscape. We got to know many interesting entrepreneurs during our stay, and we are looking forward to work with the very interesting entrepreneur Karoli Hindriks and her network as we are aiming to establish a Café de Concert-series in her hometown, Tallin. Riga, Bucuresti and Helsinki are thanks to "Creative Metropoles" in Berlin also cities Café de Concert now will focus on in the future. We were, of course, extremely proud to present the wonderful design of Moods of Norway during the Café de Concert-performance!

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.

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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