Good reviews, protests met ‘a-ha’ in Oslo

Norway’s legendary rock band a-ha was back home i Oslo last weekend and greeted by both good reviews and some protests outdoors. Demonstrators think the band should cancel an upcoming concert in Israel. Newspaper Dagsavisen reported that both Israeli and Norwegian  supporters of the Palestinians wrote letters and staged a demonstration outside the Oslo Spektrum […]

Rybak returns as Eurovision hopeful

The young Norwegian man who won more points at the Eurovision Song Contest than anyone ever had before, Alexander Rybak, is mounting an attempted comeback. Rybak is part of the line-up in this year’s Norwegian run-up to Eurovision, called Melodi Grand Prix. “This is a small country, and I’ve been asked to compete again at […]

‘Norwegian Wood’ files for bankruptcy

It was once one of the most popular summer music festivals in Norway. Then “Norwegian Wood” became a shadow of its former self and on Tuesday, the company that’s run it lately filed for bankruptcy. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that the filing, in the local court for the suburban Oslo community of Asker og […]

American wins stardom in Norway

Adam Douglas, a 36-year-old singer from Oklahoma, soared to stardom in Norway Saturday night when he won the annual nationally televised competition called “Stjernekamp.” It’s billed as selecting the country’s “ultimate entertainer,” and marked the first time the Norwegian public chose an artist who arrived in the country just 10 years ago. “This is completely insane,” […]

Mela opens during big festival weekend

No less than five music festivals are being held in Oslo this weekend, with the Norwegian capital’s most multi-cultural event of the year, the annual Mela Festival, already sprawling over the waterfront plaza in front of City Hall. It was opening on Friday for a three-day run that usually attracts big crowds of food- and music lovers, who […]

Tougher times for street musicians

Traveling street musicians who’ve played on the streets of Oslo for years have been having a tougher time earning any money this summer. They’re facing a host of new challenges, from changing customs to the introduction of regulations. “I first came here for the atmosphere,” Jim Pizza, an American musician who insists that’s his real […]

Jazz community mourns Kapstad

Norway’s jazz community has been paying tribute this past week to pianist and composer Egil Kapstad, who died on July 13 after what his family described as a brief illness. He was hailed for his contributions to music for more than 40 years. Kapstad played with jazz greats including Toots Thielemans and Chet Baker. He was […]

Show-biz ‘godfather’ mourned

Norway’s entertainment and music world was mourning the loss this week of composer and producer Egil Monn-Iversen, also known as the “godfather” and “sphinx” of Norwegian show business. Monn-Iversen died late last week at the age of 89 after a lengthy illness. His career started in the 1940s when he and his artistic partner and wife Sølvi […]

‘Intimate’ a-ha concert sold out quickly

Hard-core fans of the Norwegian pop group a-ha didn’t seem to mind paying NOK 4,000 for a ticket to sit in on what’s billed as an “exclusive, intimate concert” on an island off north-central Norway this summer. The 500 tickets available sold out in 30 minutes. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the three members of a-ha […]

New conflict hits the Norwegian Opera

Disharmony at the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet has now risen to fever pitch, after its brand-new music director, Karl-Heinz Steffens, announced that he’s already decided to leave his post next year. Steffens was popular and had been viewed as a unifying force in an organization riddled with conflict, but he claims he simply hasn’t found a good tone […]