Aalborg Symphony Orchestra

Members of Aalborg Symphony Orchestra to play benefit concert for refugees this Sunday

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(Photo courtesy of visitaalborg.dk.)
(Photo courtesy of visitaalborg.dk.)

Lauren Robinson, a friend of mine who plays horn with the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, has organized a benefit concert for the refugees streaming into Europe. Donations will go to the Red Cross’ effort to aid those arriving in Europe by the thousands. (You may have heard that Denmark just accepted 1,000 additional refugees as part of the EU deal to apportion 120,000 of the more than half a million people seeking asylum in Europe.) The concert will take place on Sunday, 27 September from 15:00 at Budolfi Kirke in the center of Aalborg. Check out the FB page here.

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Recent & upcoming: Christmas is coming, musical events, lots of meetings, lung check, flea market, and Kunsten Sunday Family Day

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‘It’s that time of year, when the world falls in love…’ Do you know the Christmas Waltz? Well get ready, because according to the number of Christmas-related events coming up you are going to hear it and other Christmas songs a lot over the next few weeks…There are also several music-related events taking place soon as well as meetings (in Danish) on a variety of topics. Find your favorites and get out of the house! (And don’t forget your Vitamin D and lots of warm lit candles, if you choose to stay in.) Check the Events Calendar for all events posted today and prior…


Christmas market near Aalborg this weekend

This weekend Klarupgaard is hosting the first of its two annual Christmas markets. In addition to a big market at which you can buy Christmas gifts (55 stalls will be on site with items ranging from retro and antique to food and life-style related), the hosts offer horse-drawn carriage rides (25 kr./person), a space where children can play and draw, and a cozy cafe where you can enjoy some refreshments. You can also, if you are ready to decorate for the holiday, buy a Christmas tree and/or other greenery. Entrance to the market is 10 kr./person (free for children under four) on both Saturday and Sunday, 15 & 16 November, from 10:00 to 16:00. Klarupgaard is located roughly 10 km outside central Aalborg. You can read more about the market here (in Danish).

Bazar’o’Rama flea market Sunday at Studenterhuset

A small, informal flea market called Bazar’o’Rama will take place at Studenterhuset (Gammel Torv 10, 9000 Aalborg) on Sunday, 16 November from 11:00 to 16:00. Lots of clothing for both young and old, shoes, junk, medieval stuff, subversive books and magazines, used CDs and vinyls will be on offer at SU-friendly prices. Free entry – just show up! Here is the FB page.

lungedagGet a free lung check at one of various locations next Wednesday!

One out of every 10 Danes has lung problems. One too many do not know it. On Wednesday, November 19 you can get a free lung check in Aalborg or the surrounding areas when you go to shop for dinner or borrow your favorite book from the library. This is just one of the over 100 events being held on Lung Day around the country. You might want to have your own lungs tested or invite a friend or family member to get theirs checked. For more information, check out this website and local events on the day here..

Aalborg Sustainability Festival planning meeting next Thursday – all invited!bæredygtighedsfestival

Preparations for Aalborg’s Sustainability Festival 2015 are in full swing! Come to the inspirational meeting on Thursday, November 20 from 09:00 to 10:30 in Obel Auditorium at Utzon Center. The purpose of the meeting is to kick off the planning for Aalborg Sustainability Festival 2015 by inspiring each other and throwing around a lot of ideas for possible arrangements. The Sustainability Festival gives all citizens, businesses, educational institutions, NGOs, etc. the opportunity to show how to work with sustainability, be it the environment, climate, health, volunteerism, ecology, stop food waste, recycling, or in other ways. Next year’s festival will take place from the 12th to 19th of September. Click here for more information.

Information meeting for potential volunteers at Frivilliges Hus next Thursday

Are you interested in volunteering in Denmark? Perhaps you haven’t found a job and are looking for a way to spend some structured time, meet people, and practice your Danish. Or you have a job or are studying and wish to benefit from giving a few hours of your time each month to a worthy cause. No matter the reason, come to De Frivilliges Hus for an information meeting on volunteering on Thursday, 20 November 17:00-20:00. The event is free of charge but registration is necessary. At the seminar you will discuss with others the benefits of volunteering and learn about the various organizations in the Aalborg area that are seeking volunteers.Click here for more information.

Meeting about development of culture and the arts in North Jutland

On Monday, 17 November at 18:30 there will be an open meeting at Studenterhuset entitled ‘A municipal, regional and national cultural prelude meeting with a development perspective for North Jutland’ (poor translation – sorry!) organized by Teaterforeningen TeaterNord, Studenterhuset and Kulturmødet Mors and supported by Aalborg Kommune and Region Nordjylland. Up for debate are the visions and concrete actions that contribute to the culture and street life of the region. Concrete themes to be discussed are ‘art quality: the role of art and culture in people’s lives and society’s sense of community’; ‘art and culture and youth’; and ‘what challenges are theaters in North Jutland experiencing and what are some solutions?’ In addition to the debate, there will be an entertainment program with samples from North Jutland artists and cultural institutions. Attendees will also have the chance to meet politicians invested in the subjects. While the event is free to attend, registration is necessary. Click here for more information.

Rockabilly band SuperScum’s release party 22 November

On Saturday, 22 November at 19:30 Studenterhuset invites to you SuperScum’s release party. SuperScum is a relatively new rockabilly band from Aalborg that has a rapidly increasing fan base in the North Jutland underground. And now their long-awaited debut EP is due out! It’s raw vocals and lyrics that remind many of a young Johnny Cash. Inspiration for the band covers a wide landscape, from country to classic rock ‘n’ roll. The evening will start with three or four acoustic tracks played in the café, followed by Superscum playing support for Go Go Berlin. Here is the FB event page.

Kunsten hosts ArtLab workshop for children and parents Sunday at Aalborg Station

As you may or may not know, Kunsten is closed for an extended period due to major renovations. However, the museum’s collections are still alive in various locations, including Aalborg Station. On Sunday, 23 November (and a number of Sundays throughout the winter) Kunsten at the station is hosting its ArtLab workshop for children and their parents, led by professional artist Liselotte Beyer, from 10:00-14:30. The idea behind ArtLab is that the process of creating something is what is important – not the final product. I believe the event is free, but this fact is not on the website. Call if you want to be absolutely sure. Click here for more information.

JulemarkedHytterSanta Claus arrives to light the Nytorv Christmas tree and Aalborg Christmas Market opens weekend of 28-30 November

Santa Claus’s much anticipated annual arrival to Aalborg takes place this year on Saturday, 29 November at 11:00 when his ship docks at Honnørkajen in Aalborg Harbor. True to tradition, the Aalborg Gardens Nisse Orchestra will entertain at Honnørkajen from 10:45 and Father Christmas, accompanied by Mayor Thomas Kastrup-Larsen, will alight and make his way through the city’s charming pedestrian streets in his sleigh, arriving at the Christmas market in Gammels Torv at noon. At 15:30 he will light the big Christmas tree at Nytorv. The Christmas Market opens the evening before, Friday, 28 November, which is also a night of shopping in the city until 22:00.

Two Christmas markets on 29 November

Aalborg Produktionsskole will hold a big – but cozy – Christmas market on Saturday, the 29th of November from 10:00 to 17:00. All are welcome. Come and buy Christmas gifts and decorations, and enjoy æbleskiver, mulled wine, homemade cakes and confections. Face painting for the kids will also be offered, as well as many other exciting products! Proceeds from the market will be donated to an activity or project in the local area, so please come and help us figure out who should be benefit from our profits that day.

On the same day as the school’s market, Kulturcentret Fjordbyen will hold a Christmas market from 10:00 to 16:00. Christmas decorations will be on offer, as well as yummy Christmas treats and other items. There will also be a table for children where they can make their own decorations for grandparents or other loved ones. In addition, Santa Claus will be on site and ready to hear children’s Christmas wishes. Tours of Fjordbyen will be given at 11:00 and 12:30. See more here.

Aalborg Chamber Music Association to hold ‘nachspiel’ event and second concert of the season 28 & 29 November

Musikkens Hus will host a mini Brahms Festival on Friday and Saturday, 28-29 November. On Friday the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra will perform Symphony No. 2 and Piano Concerto No. 1 by Brahms with Rumon Gamba conducting and Italian pianist Alessio Bax as soloist. On Saturday Bax will play all three of Brahms’ violin sonatas with Aalborg’s own concertmaster Veselin Demirev at a concert organized by the Aalborg Chamber Music Association in collaboration with Musikkens Hus.

Aalborg Symphony Orchestra Friends and Aalborg Chamber Music Association have decided to celebrate this occasion with a members’ only event at Musikkens Hus after the concert on 28 November. There will be an opportunity to hear Rumon Gamba and Veselin Demirev talk about Brahms as a composer of both orchestral and chamber music and enjoy a glass of wine together. We hope that Veselin can lure his good friend Alessio Bax to join him. Members of the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra Friends and Aalborg Chamber Music Association will receive a written invitation to the event about two weeks ahead.

Aalborg Chamber Music Association gives members access to a variety of music experiences of the highest quality performed by ensembles with – or heading to – world renown, internationally known musicians, and young Danish talent on the threshold of a promising career. Prices of membership and to attend concerts are as follows:

Seasonal membership: 200 kr
For members: 100 kr./concert
Partout card for all 5 concerts during the season: 500 kr.
Tickets for non-members: 180 kr./concert
Students: free admission except for the 13th February concert

Please find more information about the association and their concerts at: http://www.kammermusik-aalborg.dk

Attention those for whom viewing of Home Alone is part of the Christmas ritual!homealone

For many it is only really Christmas when the movie “Home Alone” is running on TV, and, per tradition, we see Kevin take a stand against burglars Harry and Marv while his mother does everything she can to get back to her son for the holiday. At Musikkens Hus this year, you can watch the film with an interesting twist. Musikkens Hus is the first venue in Europe to show the film with a symphony orchestra (London-based Cinematic Sinfonia) playing John Williams’ score live. The movie will be shown in English with Danish subitles. Click here for more information and to buy tickets (195 kr. each). Dates and times are: Friday, 5 December at 19:00 and Saturday, 6 December at 13:00 and again at 16:00.


Grassroots effort to save the Danish National Chamber Orchestra contributes to its survival

Following a vigorous campaign to protest the closure of the Danish National Chamber Orchestra, it seems that supporters of the institution have succeded in keeping it alive. The government announced three days ago that the orchestra will live on, despite the fact that DR had let the musicians go. A majority in Parliament will now force the DR to rehire and retain the orchestra. The Danish People’s Party, Conservative, Alliance and Left parties, together with the Faroese representative Edmund Joensen, form a majority of 90 seats, which requires the government and the DR to make sure that the 75-year-old entertainment orchestra survives. 40,000 people signed the petition against the orchestra’s closure, and the orchestra received international support from the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Orchestra of New York.

Aalborg Light Rail System gets the green light financially

Yesterday Aalborg Kommune announced that the municipal government approved giving the Aalborg light rail project the 830 million kr. it needs to make the transportation system a reality. The light rail system will connect Mølholm in the west to the new University Hospital in the east.I’m very pleased that we have been able to get Aalborg Light rail through the Budget process… Government funding will undoubtedly have far-reaching and seminal importance and help to secure the future of our city. We have putpublic transport high on the agenda,’ says a delighted Mayor Thomas KastrupLarsen. You can read more about the light rail project here. (This story was taken from the Kommune’s website.)

Recent & upcoming: expats at John Bull Pub, Enjoy! exhibit at Utzon, Eksperimentarium-ArtDreams concerts, and more!

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XNN get together at John Bull Pub

XPat Network North invites any and all expats and Danes who are interested in meeting new people and seeing old friends to John Bull Pub this evening at 17:00 for drinks and a chance to socialize. No need to sign up – just come and stop by for a beer at the harbor with us!

Enjoy! art exhibit to open today at Utzon Center

DSC_4694Kunsten, in cooperation with the Utzon Center, opens the new Enjoy! art exhibit today at the Utzon Center. Works by Andy Warhol, Christo, Robert Rauschenberg, Michelangelo Pistoletto, César, Roy Lichtenstein, Daniel Spoerri, Lucio Fontana, Nam June Paik and Niki de Saint-Phalle have been handpicked to be displayed at the cultural center. The exhibit runs through 27 July. For more information on Utzon and the exhibit, click here.

Aalborg Symphony Orchestra (ASO) – some events sold out but other interesting ones coming up!

As I posted previously, the ASO’s Children’s Day at Musikkens Hus will take place tomorrow from 9:00. Unfortunately, however, the event is ‘sold’ out (though tickets were free), which I learned the hard way by trying to register 4 days before the event. The ASO vs. Platform 4 event to be held tonight at 21:00 is similarly sold out. Yeah for the orchestra, boo for those who wanted to come at the last minute. [Insider tip: you can show up at Musikkens Hus tonight and try your luck at getting an unoccupied seat; since there is always the possibility of some no-shows, it’s possible you could still get a ticket.]

eskperimentariumHOWEVER…there are two interesting events coming up soon that you might be interested in. The orchestra’s new Eksperimentarium-ArtDreams project is a concert series designed by musicians in the orchestra to promote contemporary music and collaborations between artists, musicians, and audiences in Aalborg. Their first concert will take place on Saturday, May 17 at 18.00 in the Intimsal in Musikkens Hus. Tickets are free but you should call ahead to reserve a ticket, as space is limited. Call the Musikkens Hus box office at 60 20 30 00 or visit the box office. The first concert features 15 members of the orchestra, 11 students from Hobro Friskole, mime Jeannot Hunzicker, bassist Mark Dresser, saxophonist Jesper Løvdal, and pianist Butch Lacy. There will also be a free preview of this concert at Aalborg Hovedbibliotek (Main Library) at 12.00 on Saturday, 10 May featuring some of the musicians. Please come and ask questions and hear more! For more information on Eksperimentarium-ArtDreams, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Eksperimentarium, or website at http://aalborgsymfoni.dk/Eksperimentarium.

Asian Food Festival 2014 looking for volunteers

The 2nd annual Aalborg Asian Food Festival is looking for volunteers to take on a variety of responsibilities at this year’s festival, which will take place at Gammel Torv over three days – from 20 to 22 June. Last year’s inaugural festival, which was staged at Karolinelund, attracted over 3000 visitors and 100 volunteers to its food and culture booths and this year’s event  promises to be even bigger. Volunteer coordinator Atanas Kovachev is looking for people to take on roles such as production manager, logistics manager, accountant and volunteers to work on the days of the festival in various capacities. Please click here for more information and/or view the group’s Facebook page.

Expat family dance event 21st May

Come along with your family and join this fun social network meeting for internationals. Aalborg Kommune’s Sundheds- og Kulturforvaltningen (Department for Health and Culture) are hosting an event that offers a dance lesson for all members of the family followed by a chance to socialize and get to know other families. The event will take place in Tårnhøjhallen in Aalborg Øst, 9220 Aalborg on Wednesday 21st May at 16.30-19.45.
Program: Participants arrive 16.30 – Introduction to Dance for families 16.45 – Instruction in Dance for families 17.00-18.00 – Social networking and sandwich 18.15–19.30 – Finish 19.45.
Families with children aged 5 and above are welcome but space is limited so please sign up in advance by emailing Helle Lundgreen – HLU-sbu@aalborg.dk

Recent & upcoming in Aalborg: 1 May 2014

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Spring is in the air in Aalborg. The sun has been shining for over a week, trees and flowers are blooming, and it seems that the number of events and activities going on in the city has multiplied since winter. (Or maybe I’m just understanding more Danish as I browse newspapers and glance at posters as I cycle and walk through the center…) In any case, there’s plenty to do this weekend and it seems the weather is going to cooperate so let’s get out there and explore!

Aalborg tops the list of 79 European cities with the most satisfied residents

First, a small news announcement. If you are on Facebook, you may have seen this little item circulating already but if not…A recent survey by the European Commission found that the people of Aalborg are more satisfied with the quality of life in their city than those queried in 78 other European cities. Asked whether they were satisfied with life in their respective city, 41,000 survey respondents gave answers ranging from ‘totally agree’ to ‘totally disagree’. Here are the cities in which the most residents said ‘totally agree’:

Main finding
Responses to statement ‘I am satisfied with life in [city name]’

As you can see, 99% of Aalborgenses ‘totally agreed’ with the statement. (The lowest recorded percentage was Athina at 52%.) Aalborg also rated high on levels of satisfaction with: health services, cultural institutional offerings, educational facilities, public spaces, availability of retail shops, availability of affordable housing, safety, trust in others, and the efficiency and trustworthiness of public administration. In terms of their views on the environment, most Aalborgenses think the city has good air quality, low noise levels, is clean, and has enough green spaces but they do not agree that the city is doing enough to combat climate change (only 10% totally agree). Personally, most residents of Aalborg appear to be satisfied with the life they lead, the place in which they live, their financial situation and their job situation.

However, not all is sun and roses in Aalborg. When asked to what extent they agreed with the statement, ‘I am satisfied with available public transportation in my city’, for example, only 31% of Aalborgenses answered ‘totally agree’. Perhaps the planned light rail/BRT system will help boost that number? Another area that stands out is employment opportunities – only 31% of Aalborg respondents ‘totally agree’ or ‘agree’ that it is easy to find a job here. Aalborg also ranked somewhere near the middle when answering whether ‘the presence of foreigners here is good for the city’ – only 38% totally agreed with the statement. And only 9% totally agreed that foreigners who live here are well integrated. Why might that be?

Note: only residents of Aalborg and Copenhagen were polled in Denmark; those in Århus, Odense and other Danish cities were not included. To learn more about the results of this study, click here.

Hopping Aalborg harbor: Loppemarked (‘flea market’) and Sport in Progress

The harbor is going to be buzzing this weekend. There are two events happening – first, the first day of a recurring flea market – ‘lopper på havnen’ – on Sunday, 4 May from 11:00 to 16:00 in the area next to the Elbjørn. 60 stands will be manned by people selling all sorts of goods, and local musician Andri Sigurdsson will be there to sing and play guitar. Future ‘lopper på havnen’ dates are 1 June, 6 July, and 3 August.

The second event is Sport in Progress on Friday, 2 May. There will be sport competitions to watch, including a Cross Fit tournament, where teams of two women and two men will compete in endurance and strength, street football games and a Roller Derby race. But the day is not just about watching – visitors can try their own hand at a FIFA 2014 computer game, pole dance, or get a body-scan, through which they can learn about their health condition. On the water they can also test themselves in the rapidly growing sport of stand-up paddle boards, which can best be described as a combination of surfing, canoeing and fitness training. The event is the result of collaboration between Sport Management at UCN and Sports Aalborg University. Students from the two institutions are in charge of directing the activities, while sponsors and Aalborg Municipality support the event financially.

Test 5k and 10k runs offered in Aalborg this Sunday

MotionNord is offering a test run this Sunday, 4 May to those who wish to prepare for different races this season. Runners can choose the 5k or 10k route, both of which start at Skovlysning, near Stolpedalsskolen in Hasseris. Runners will be given chips that track their progress throughout their run. Second and third test runs will be offered on the first Sundays in June and August. The idea behind these events is to test the runners’ current form and shape improvements – both ahead of and throughout the race season. You can sign up for individual test runs or pay for all three at a reduced rate. The ultimate goal is the Fjordmarathon in Aalborg 7 September of this year. For more information about the test runs, click here.

Bellydance  presentation at Friis Saturday

In case you’re out shopping at Friis this Saturday, 3 May don’t be alarmed if between the hours of 13:00 and 15:00 you hear samba drums and come upon a bellydance presentation at the shopping center’s art wall. Vendsyssel Bellydance Association and the samba group Pocoloco will be giving a preview of their performances during Aalborg Carnival, complete with costumes.

Run for all on May 11

I posted previously about the Children’s Run on Sunday, May 11 at Karolinelund (please note: the registration fee for this race has increased to 110 kr + fee). However, I failed to mention that there are also runs the same day for adults. What used to be a 5k and 10k only for women has expanded to include men and teams of both sexes. In addition to a starting number runners receive a brand new, custom-designed Newline race T-shirt, a track bag stuffed with healthy and delicious surprises and, if you join the race with 3 other people, a large picnic bag filled with goodies to enjoy on the lawn after the race. There will also be plenty of support, pep and cheer along the route, so you might be carried to the finish line with your best time ever! Please note that registrations are coming in quickly and the course can only accommodate 2,500 runners; thus, please register soon if you want to join. Registration costs 230 kr. + fee and can be accomplished by clicking here

Cinema at Aalborg Library

Aalborg Main Library staff invite you to a repeat movie screening of Lykkevej in their cozy cinema tomorrow, Friday, 2nd May (last week’s showing must have proved too popular to accommodate everyone!) from 16:00-18:00. The movie tells a humorous story about different Danish cultures meeting one another.The movie will be shown in Danish with English subtitles. The event is free and there is no need to register – just show up and head upstairs to the cinema. Read more about the film here.

Children’s Day and Symfonien vs. Platform4 event coming up at Musikkens Hus

Another head’s up for children’s day at Musikkens Hus, which will take place Saturday, 10 May. Parents are invited to bring their children to a free music appreciation event led by musician and music teacher Annemette Juul Pedersen and Mette Mailund Strong, graphic designer, visual artist and orchestra member. A program for children ages 6 to 8 will be held from 9:00 to 12:00, while 9-11 year olds should come for the afternoon (13:00-16:00). Although tickets are not required, you must register your child/ren and yourself by calling or emailing Anne Rom Hansen (98 13 19 55/arh@aalborgsymfoni.dk).

[The following text come directly from the event’s FB page.] Also coming up at Musikkens Hus on Friday, 9 May is the debut of the audiovisual partnership between visual artists from Platform4 and Aalborg Symphony Orchestra in its new setting. The sixth night of symphonic music in dense, digital landscapes is going to be special. The event is the first of its kind in Koncertsalen in Musikkens Hus, which will be the project’s new stage. After a series of popular events and limited seating at Symfonien in Kjellerupsgade, the event now has 1,298 characteristically red chairs at its disposal in the new high-tech music hall.

Koncertsalen is the largest of the four music halls in Musikkens Hus. It has been acoustically optimized by the American consultancy firm Artec and drawn by the award-winning Austrian architects from Coop Himmelb(l)au. Together the visual and acoustic spaces make the hall an ideal frame for the total experience that Platform4 and the symphony orchestra aim to give their audience. ‘We’re excited to explore the new settings and the possibilities they offer. Koncertsalen inspired us to make it all bigger and wilder so that’s what we did,’ says Platform4 daily manager, Bo Nicolaisen.

The music played by the orchestra on the evening is the first and the last movement of Brahms’ »Piano Quartet No. 1«. Originally written for a four-man ensemble the piece has been instrumented for a full orchestra. For context, chief conductor Rumon Gamba will start off the event with a usually very entertaining guided tour around the piece before letting his musicians do the talking. Apart from the event debuting in its new settings, Platform4 will also give debut on the big stage to its new group of visual artists represented by Jean François Robin, Alf Andersen and Dragoş Boţcău this evening.

Doors: 20:30
Concert: 21:00-22:00
Meet-and-greet with the artists: 22:00-23:00
Entrance: Free (tickets must be collected at Musikkens Hus or Platform4 in Karolinelund)

Bird tour at Østerådalen

The Danish Ornithological Society in North Jutland invites children and their grandparents to a spring ‘experience with birds’ at Aalborg Kommune’s Infohus at Østerådalen off Overkæret this Saturday, May 3 from 13:00 to 16:00. The association will serve cake and lemonade to children and offer coffee/tea to the adults. Visitors can see a small exhibition of stuffed birds and buy bird boxes. The association members will also introduce participants to various books about birds. During a tour of the area the ornithologists will talk about the birds they see, and explain what it is they do when they go out into the wild to see or count birds. They will also tell stories about the birds – both true stories and tall tales. In addition, visitors will visit a shelter, where it will be possible to get quite close to many birds. Binoculars will be available on loan but if you have some at home, it’s a good idea to bring them with you. Registration is required by emailing nord@post.tele.dk.

Zoo sets record Easter weekend

Aalborg Zoo Director Henrik Johansen reports that 33,500 visitors chose Aalborg Zoo as one of their destinations during the Easter holidays, a 48% increase over the same period in 2013. 90,000 people have visited the zoo this year, compared to 79,000 in the first 4 months of last year. While the animals are still the main draw, another huge attraction is the enormous new playground in the middle of the zoo’s grounds.

2,700 parking places planned at new hospital

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the new light rail/BRT system that is currently under development in Aalborg. The system will run from the new university hospital in Aalborg Øst to Mølholm in the west beginning in 2021 and is projected to save 600,000 car trips a year. However, the Region Norjylland hospital project director, Niels Uhrenfeldt, has announced that there will also be a large enough parking lot built to the east of the hospital to fit 2,700 cars and ample space left to develop the lot should there be need for it. COWI has undertaken a study of current traffic patterns to the area where the hospital is being built and the consulting group estimates that the number of automobiles arriving daily at the new hospital, once it is fully operational in 2020, will be around 13,000.

Musikkens Hus’ opening a resounding success

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WP_000164Yesterday my husband and I had the enormous pleasure of attending the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra‘s opening concert at Musikkens Hus. It was sold out – all 1,298 seats (and then some – I’m pretty sure I saw a few added chairs at the end of a balcony row). The atmosphere was anticipatory and festive. Here we all were at the first official public concert in the new hall, a hall that has been planned for well over a decade (or two…or three).

It was almost enough to sit in the new seats and gaze arouWP_000159nd at the unique design and lighting created by the architects and acousticians. But then there was the music. Starting with Danish composer Niels Gade’s ‘Efterklange af Ossian’, the orchestra played with passion and energy. They stepped it up with Tchaikovsky’s Concert for Violin and Orchestra in D-major, which featured world-renowned Danish-Israeli soloist Nikolaj Znaider (we were close enough to see his fingers fly over his instrument and the beads of sweat collect on his brow), and finished with Elgar’s Enigma Variations. A standing ovation enticed conductor Rumon Gamba to request an encore of his players, which they gladly did – Elgar’s Enigma Variation IX (Adagio), also known as ‘Nimrod’. This piece has to be one of my favorites but I had never heard it played live. Starting softly, the piece builds to a swell and – at least for me – conjures significant emotion. I was nearly in tears, both times they played it. WP_000169

According to horn player Lauren Robinson, Musikkens Hus is one of the best concert halls she has ever played in (and that includes Carnegie Hall) and ‘it is especially wonderful when it is full of audience.’ We are privileged to live in a city that paid for such attention to detail that its orchestra members can say that – and that supports an orchestra made up of such a talented group of musicians.

For those readers who read Danish, here‘s a Danish blogger’s review of the concert.