Category Archives: Articles 2008 and older

Alexander Rybak on “loffen” – interview in Amta 19.09.2008

Alexander Rybak on “loffen”

Eleven days this summer Alexander Rybak from Nesodden went from door to door at Sunnmøre (in the north-west of Norway) with his fiddle on his shoulder.

Source: Paper issue of Amta (local paper in Nesodden), published 19.9.2008. Text: Trond Folckersahm. Photos: Trond Folckersahm and Alexander Rybak. The interview was done at the Opera House in Oslo.
Translation by TessaLa, revision by Anni Jowett.

– A nerve-racking, exciting, challenging, eventful and fun experience, says Alexander, who has had a very active year.

He has, among other things, been on the stage in the role as the fiddler in “Spellemann på taket” (Fiddler on the Roof) at Oslo Nye Teater. There has also been time for the recording of a movie. Alexander has a musical role, as the gypsy Levi, in the big production  «Yohan», which will premier in Norwegian cinemas next year. Concerts have of course been on the schedule. But the “raisin in the sausage” may have been the ten days on “loffen” in Giske municipality in Sunnmøre with his fiddle on his back. A maybe some unusual “stunt” from a classically trained violinist.
Text to photo: Alexander has been on the theater stage, film studio and on “loffen” this year. Who knows, maybe the opera stage is next.

Continue reading Alexander Rybak on “loffen” — interview in Amta 19.09.2008

The wandering fiddler – Alexander Rybak – summer 2008

Next week Alexander Rybak will go from door to door in Giske municipality and play violin and get shelter and food in return.

Souce: Paper issue of Sunnmørsposten, published 19. July 2008. Text and photo: Nils-Ove Støbakk.


– I have read stories about “øyloffing” (island hopping) and wondering where people stayed on such a trip. Then I decided I would stay with strangers.
Alexander Rybak is not exactly the prototype of a traveling troubadour, although he will until next Sunday be strolling
around the islands Valderøya, Vigra, Giske and Godøya with the violin under his arm.
Last year Alexander was instructor at the Summer School orchestra School at Borgund Folkehøgskule. He got the chance to see the view from Fjellstua, and then he got the idea.
– It was the best view ever! It looked very nice on the islands, so I thought that I would try loffing there. Continue reading The wandering fiddler — Alexander Rybak — summer 2008

Listen to Alexander Rybak’s music inspired by Edvard Grieg

The “Kjempesjansen”- winner Alexander Rybak shows the way in “Urørt’s” Grieg project. He has recorded his own music inspired by Grieg, but will not make a pure style-copy’s Urørt/Grieg-project has started. From 13th. February 2007 you can upload music you have made yourself onørt.

Article from, published 12.2.2007. Text and photo:  Anne Christine Bratt / NRK. Translated by TessaLa, revised by Anni Jowett

One who already has been inspired by Grieg to make new music is the “Kjempesjansen” -winner Alexander Rybak from Nesodden. He won the talent competition on NRK with self-made music where he both sang and played violin. The song he performed seemed more influenced by American music than the essence of Norway, but Alexander tells that through the years he has been inspired by a lot of different music, including Grieg. Continue reading Listen to Alexander Rybak’s music inspired by Edvard Grieg

Alexander Rybak – The Idol troll – “School Diary” 01.12.2006

 Alexander Rybak interviewed by the  “School Diary” in Dagbladet 01.12.2006

Source: paper issue of Dagbladet, published 1.12.2006. Text: Jon Andre Sæther. Photo: TV2.

Name: Alexander Rybak
Current: Won “Kjempesjansen” on NRK
Age: 20
Hight: 1,84
From: Nesodden
Favourite movie: “Old Boy”
Favourite song: “From Grace” by Thomas Dybdal.
Favourite website:
What was written on your “Russe-card” ?: No way I will sell my body! …but you can borrow it.  Continue reading Alexander Rybak — The Idol troll — “School Diary” 01.12.2006

Everyone wants a piece of Alexander Rybak – Aftenposten 18.11.2006

Modelling, concerts, theater parts and marriage proposals.

After two rounds in Kjempesjansen on NRK, young Alexander Rybak from Nesodden can almost wade in exciting offers. The finale is on Saturday.

Text to photo: Even if he has been a bit ill lately, Alexander Rybak has spent the days before the finale practising and performing at closed events for various companies. Photo: Tor G. Stenersen.

Source: Published 18.11.2006. Text: Arve Henriksen. Translated by Jorunn Ekre, revised by Anni Jowett. Continue reading Everyone wants a piece of Alexander Rybak — Aftenposten 18.11.2006

Alexander Rybak won Kjempesjansen – Aftenposten 18.11.2006

The audience made sure the multi-talented Alexander Rybak (20) beat the sisters from Valdres.

Text to photo of Alex, Dan Børge Akerø and Trond Giske : Alexander Rybak is congratulated by host Dan Børge Akerø and minister of culture Trond Giske.

Source:, published 18.11.2006. Text: Anders Nordstuga. Translated by Jorunn Ekre, revision by Anni Jowett.

Tonight’s finale in the NRK programme Kjempesjansen became a very thrilling showdown. Finally the battle stood between Rybak and the sisters Ragnhild (18) and Eldbjørg Hemsing (16). The sisters got the majority of the votes from the professional jury consisting of Eddie Skoller, Trond Giske, Elisabeth Andreassen, Anneli Drecker, and the director Halldis Rønning. The sisters got 120 000 NOK from the professional jury, while Alexander Rybak got 80 000. Rybak however won in the end thanks to the TV votes.
This is surprising and great, said a happy Alexander to Amta right after the decision was made. Rybak won with his distinct voice and music he had composed himself, that he had arranged himself for the orchestra.

At 18 he won the Anders Jahre culture award for younger artists which was worth 100 000 NOK. He is the head of Ung Symfoni in Bergen, and he has performed with Morten Harket, Arve Tellefsen, Stephen Ackles and Knutsen and Ludvigsen. Last year he participated as a violinist in Thomas Stanghelle’s opera musical “Some Sunny Night” which amongst others visited China and New York. Normally he studies at Barratt Due Music Institute in Oslo.

Eldbjørg (left) and Ragnhild during the dress rehearsal of Kjempesjansen Saturday night.

Interview with Alexander and Dennis Storhøi in “In-Magasinet” 2007

The true joy of playing

One very young, and the other slightly older.
We have met two happy fiddlers!

Author: Marius Olav Sørhus  Photo: Thomas Aas & L P Lorentz (Oslo Nye) Source: In-magasinet. Published : spring 2007. Translated by TessaLa, revised by Bita.

At the theatre “Oslo Nye” plays the musical “Fiddler on the Roof” for full houses. It has done so for a long time now and will continue up until mid-June. It was about time to have a chat with the stars who held the lead roles.
We sat down in the middle of the stage at the strange, empty auditorium. What does the success feel like, and how is it to stand on this stage everyday in front of a new expecting audience? Dennis Storhøi plays the lead role of Tevye and Alexander Rybak plays the fiddler on the roof. Continue reading Interview with Alexander and Dennis Storhøi in “In-Magasinet” 2007

Article About Christmas Concert at Amta Newspaper, 22.12.2003

English translation by Hildebjörg Ha, arrangement by Tessa La and Anni Jowett

Text and photo: Øyvind Futsæter. 

 Thomas Stanghelle and Steven Ackle

I would like to participate in this kind of event every day, the whole year, Stephen Ackles said to the audience, who filled the Mission Church at Alværn to beyond bursting point on Sunday afternoon.
Together with Thomas and Turid Stanghelle, Alexander, Natasja and Igor Rybak and the Church’s children choir, he created a pre-Christmas mood which probably is still in the bone marrow of the audience. Continue reading Article About Christmas Concert at Amta Newspaper, 22.12.2003

Christmas Crossover with Stephen Ackles, December 2004


A Christmas Crossover tour with Alexander Rybak and his family and Stanghelle family.

Variety: Stephen Ackles and Alexander Rybak offered powerful classic tones and lighter gospel tunes

Text and photo: Kristin Berge, published in the paper issue of Varden 19.12.2004.
Found and translated by Tessa Lande. Revision by Anni Jowett

It turned out to be a good idea by Stephen Ackles to call the concert on Saturday “Christmas Crossover”.
With a handful of classical musician friends and the concert “Christmas Crossover” Stephen Ackles made the Christmas mood in Langesund yesterday.

And the fact that Ackles met the tenor singer Thomas Stanghelle in a cabin a few years ago, can hardly have been accidental. In any case, it was a success, because it did not end with only singing together at the after-party.

The meeting led to a fertile collaboration – both summer and winter, and this Saturday 200 people had gathered to experience some of the results of that meeting.

Continue reading Christmas Crossover with Stephen Ackles, December 2004

Christmas on Home Ground – Varden newspaper. 16.12.2005

Christmas on Home Ground

Article in the paper issue of Varden 16.12.2005.  Text and photo: Helge Ottesen. 
Found and translated by Tessa Lande, revision by Anni Jowett


Stephen Ackles sang in Breivik Church yesterday. Today he will sing in Bamble Church.

He grew up in Breivik and lives in Langesund, and he is clearly on his home ground. I guess many of the people present yesterday would have liked to have heard more gospel from Stephen, now that he finally was in the church.

Crossover Christmas

“Crossover Christmas” is the name of the nearly two hour long Christmas concert,  Stephen Ackles participates in. The others are the tenor Thomas Stanghelle, his mother, mezzo-soprano Turid Stanghelle and the violinist Alexander Rybak. All of them took part in the famous performance by Thomas Stanghelle “Some Sunny Night” in Beijing in China this autumn. In the middle of the show they showed a short video clip from the China trip. But showing it behind the backs of the audience and on the wall of the roof of the high Brevik church, didn’t work very well. I do not know if there is something called Chinese crick in the neck, but it felt like that.

Mother Turid had incurred a sore throat, and contented herself to only read from the Bible. Grandma Mathilde Marker,  joined in instead. She sang one of her most famous songs:  “White Lilac” from 1963. Also Thomas´ girlfriend Ingunn Roland sang a song written for her.

Christmas-Concert:  Crossover Christmas in Breivik church last night. From the left:  Alexander Rybak, Stephen Ackles and Thomas Stanghelle.

Gospel for 48 hours

Young Alexander Rybak received a lot of applause for his virtuoso solo on the violin, but it rose to even more applause when he played and sang a newly composed – and in love  –  Christmas song.  Touching! Thomas and Stephen sang, among other things, “O Helga Natt” , “Ave Maria”, “Mary’s Boy Child” and a medley of songs like “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “When you Wish Upon a Star”. Thomas did the aria from Pearl Fishers by Bizet.

–  You might wonder what I do in this classical company?, a cheerful Stephen asked. Dressed in a black suit, red shirt and shiny boots.
– Thomas and I met in a cabin,  and there we sang gospel music together for 48 hours”,  Ackles tells. Yesterday he performed three gospel songs alone at the piano:  A Mahalia Jackson song from one of the first vinyl records,  that came into the home of the Ackles family in Brevik, with the text “Take My Hand, Precious Lord, lead me home.  Stephen also sang “A closer walk with thee ” and it looked as if the audience made themselves comfortable on the chairs, clearly wishing for more.

More than 150 people

Stephen Ackles said that Thursday was his grandmother’s 100th birthday and it was special to him. She has received a new address, just outside here  he said.  It was not only the torches at the entrance, that lit up the church yesterday. There were also some lights on the graves. More than 150 people where present in Brevik church last night.

Charming! Alexander Rybak with his own Christmas song.

Schedule of the Christmas crossover tour 2005

The Youth Symphony with violin talent – Alexander Rybak – Drammens Tidende Feb.18th 2002


Young talent: Alexander Rybak, one of Norway’s biggest violin talents, ready for a concert with Buskerud Youth Symphony.


We believe, this may be the OLDEST  article about Alexander published on the Internet. Thanks a LOT to Olina Novikova for finding it:-)

The Youth Symphony with violin talent

Buskerud Youth String Orchestra has signed the talented young violinist Alexander Rybak as a soloist for their spring concert in Harmonien’s concert hall in Drammen.

Continue reading The Youth Symphony with violin talent — Alexander Rybak — Drammens Tidende Feb.18th 2002