Article about Alexander Rybak’s concert in Skellefteå, Sweden

Written by Johannes Hogberg. Photo by  Ulf Johansson

Published in the paper issue of “Norran”. 16.02.2013.

Found by Ulli Cologne. Translated by Ingegerd Claesson.  

Revision by Anni Jowett

A Eurovision winner and his string project.

SKELLEFTÅ: At the same time the Swedish artists had their general rehearsal of Melodifestivalen was the Norwegian Eurovision winner in Skellefteå. But this time  Alexander Rybak isn’t here for the rose coloured party. He has his own project.

In 2009 he won ESC in Moscow with the song ”Fairytale”.It had a big impact in Norway. But that he became a mega celebrity in the whole of Europe wasn’t the most important thing. It doesn’t care very much about it.

– In Norway there were 60 percent more who started to play the violin after I had won. What gives me most here(he points at his heart) isn’t what happens in the big concert halls, but what happens locally, says Rybak.


When the  music school celebrated 50 years this year, February was appointed to be the month of strings. Then came the brainwave to invite Alexander Rybak his project to go out to school classes and combine a concert with teaching fitted him perfectly.

– I had enough of club concerts. Since I started I have been to 20 different orchestras in Scandinavia says Alexander.

So how does he feel after his first day in Skellefteå?

-Very good. I could come here for a vacation. It’s calm and if you want to ski it’s nice and flat, sometimes you get tired of the mountains, he says.

Local parable

During the rehearsal he shines with his knowledge of the local sports life. He explains that one section of the strings should play a little faster like Skellefteå AIK.

Have you done research? Hockey isn’t that big in Norway?

-Every time you switch channels on SVT and there’s hockey they are talking about Skellefteå. So I know about that says Rybak.

You who are a Eurovision winner. Will you go and see Melodifestivalen?

–  That would be fun. We will have to see if Christer Björkman will give me a ticket says Rybak and laughs.

Tomorrow there will be the crescendo of his stay in Skellefteå. Two concerts in a row will be performed by Rybak himself and the string students from Skellefteå, Umeå and Lycksele.

The best advice

Yesterday he already took the opportunity to share his best advice with his pupils.

– Be self-confident and smile. If you should play wrong just keep your head high and keep playing.  You just have the right confidence will everyone think this is the way it should sound, he says.

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