Article posted at www.oa.no on 24.06.2013
Author of text and photo: Ingvar Skattebu
Found by Ellen Nl. English translation by Jorunn Ekre. English revising by Anni Jowett.
Popular guy: Alexander Rybak is extremely popular as an inspiration and head of orchestra.Writing autographs is a part of the job.
Rybak always returns to Valdres.
Alexander Rybak grew up with the classical music courses in Valdres. Nowadays it’s him who inspires the youngest musicians.
“I was about 12 years old the first time I participated in this myself”,- says Alexander Rybak. He gulps down a double portion of salmon together with a bunch of young classical musicians. They are gathered for the annual event Valdres Summer Symphony. These classical courses for kids and young people celebrates its 20 year anniversary this year. A bit stressed out and newly arrived Rybak can’t at the moment remember which year he participated for the first time.Since he was born in 1986, we can assume he was here the first time in 1999. And it has made many visits to Valdres after that. Even when he became a big popstar after he won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009, he still takes time out to join Valdres Summer Symphony to inspire young musicians. “This is important, this is something which is high on my list of priorities”,- he says smiling.
Remembers it himself
Today he remembers well how inspiring it was to meet grown up musicians and course instructors. Nowadays it`s him who is the inspiration, like for instance Henning Kraggerud was to him at the time. “He showed me it was possible to do other and new things with the violin. I want to play that part”says Rybak. In the hallway at Valdres Folkehøgskule children are milling around wanting his autograph. The older ones says hello, give him a hug and welcome him. Lots of people want a piece of him “Tuesday (today – editor`s note) I`m having a show concert with the pianist Gunnar Flagstad. Then we are rehearsing with a children`s symphony orchestra, who are having a concert on Thursday. Those who participate here experience a unity and gathering around the music, which is totally unique. It`s extremely valuable”,- he says. Currently he is working on a family musical, where he is the head of the orchestra.
Went from farm to farm
Rybak laughs a bit when we remind him that he once went from farm to farm and performed for the ones who lived there. It was a part of a project where the participants would get a sense of what it was like to be a fiddler in the old days.
– It was a lot of fun. And very inspiring to be so close to the great scenery here.
In a couple of months the shooting of TV2`s popular series “Hver gang vi møtes starts”. Rybak is one of the six artists who will participate. “This program is as Norwegian as Valdres. I really look forward to that”,- says Rybak.
Valdres Summer Symphony kicks off this week, General head of the event, Mona Kleven says that the course includes 305 children and young people. They will be playing and rehearsing for ten days, and 30 concerts will be held at various places in Valdres.