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    Norwegian Composer Revives Love for the Classics


    by NTDTelevision

    Concerts by pianist Axel Kolstadt may seem a bit crazy. It’s not unusual for the maestro to appear on stage in sneakers. He feels this is a good way to draw more people like youths to classical music. Our Russian correspondents attended one of his unusual concerts.

    [Axel Kolstadt, Composer and Pianist]:
    "I was a sportsman. My father was the coach of the national basketball team. I was playing the piano and basketball until I was 17 years old. I had to choose. And I have chosen: to keep the basketball shoes, but to be a composer and play my music."

    When an artist performs Grieg's sketches, you can hear the music of Norwegian fjords. In the interpretation of Rachmaninov, as musicians say, you can hear Russia. Among the serious musical pieces, there are touching stories about the goldfish and Harlequin.

    [Axel Kolstadt, Composer and Pianist]:
    "This addition to music is designed to attract more attention. Concerts of classical music should not be serious. There was this Danish composer Victor Borge, who arranged a crazy show at his concerts."

    Axel shows may seem too extravagant at first glance. But, according to the Consul General of Norway, an original approach to classical music helps to attract more viewers, in particular young people.

    [Rune Osheym, Consul General of Norway in Saint Petersburg]:
    “Axel Kolstadt is a young musician, an excellent pianist, he is a composer, and he’s almost a fool from time to time."

    Axel's friends consider him to be tireless: not only is he a musician, composer and conductor, but he teaches as well.

    At home Axel brings his future listeners in advance so as not to come once into an empty room.

    [Vitaly Vasiliev, Director, Center for Humanitarian Programs]:
    "He goes to nursery schools, to some municipal agencies which are engaged in educating troubled teens. You cannot watch at these concerts without tears, because you would see how these kids become different, how their faces become bright."

    NTD, St. Petersburg, Russia