Musikkens Hus

Recent & upcoming: Black Friday, markets, markets, markets, Christmas run, parades, music, trains, and art

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I feel somewhat like a broken record lately in my Recent & Upcoming series. The lead-up to Christmas continues to build momentum in Aalborg, and given that holiday-themed events dominate the calendar, I am obliged to include them. I hope you don’t mind, dear readers. The first story of today’s post is related: Black Friday. This is the first time since our September 2012 arrival that I have noticed its encroachment on the Danish shopping scene (somewhat like an insidious pest that has swum, floated, or flown over from the US). Or maybe I just wasn’t paying attention. In any case, information about it is included below. Happy shopping! (or avoiding stores entirely tomorrow). And try to enjoy something else if you can this weekend – there is a lot on offer! (Plus, don’t forget that I’ve covered in previous posts a lot of events still to come – see the Events Calendar for the best overview of everything…)

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Recent & upcoming in Aalborg: Ordkraft, Kulturskole deadline, wine-tasting, Øko dag, ASO Easter concert, and more!

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  • 2014.Modulbilleder.ordkraftnsp_125Ordkraft i Nordkraft takes place from today, 10 April, through Saturday, 12 April. An event held each April, Ordkraft is a festival of the word, which is examined through various means, including author interviews, games, film, music, drama, debates and other activities. The event offers something for all age groups. Tickets are 50 kr./per day or per event or 100 kr. for all three days and can be purchased in various locations. Most presentations will be in Danish. For parents of Danish-speaking children, an event on Saturday may be of particular interest: titled ‘Vi rapper og ræser og leger og læser’ (‘We rap and race and play and read’), the event features Marianne Iben Hansen who will tell the story of “Axel elsker biler” (‘Axel loves cars’) and organize a shouting choir and car dance. Bring driving glasses and join her for a rollicking good time from 11:00 to 13:00. For more information on the festival, visit the event website.
  • AalborgKulturskole_logoThe deadline to register for courses at Aalborg Kulturskole during the 2014/15 school year is tomorrow, 11 April. A plethora of courses in musical instrument playing, drama, visual arts, and other areas are available to all, from small children to centenarians. Click here for more information.
  • Aalborg Handball Club invites members of the public to their sports hall (at Østre Allé 87) on Saturday, April 12 from 13:00 to 17:00 for something completely different than handball: wine-tasting. Instead of a team of handball athletes and their fans, the hall will be populated by sommeliers and connoisseurs. Come and try the many different wines and quality food from a variety of producers and importers, most of whom come from North Jutland!
  • Sunday, 13 April is ‘Øko Day’ in Denmark – the day on whichokodag_ny_ko_og_txt cows raised on organic farms are let out to graze in the fields after a long winter in the barn. Everyone is invited to come and see ‘the cows dance’ with joy as they take in the fresh air, sun and taste of spring. More than 153,000 Danes pulled on rubber boots and visited the organic cows last year. Participating farms will offer tastings of organic dairy products and plenty of opportunities to see, hear, taste, touch and experience how they do things. Bring a picnic basket and enjoy a fun and educational experience on an organic farm, where you can ask questions and get answers from those who know organic farming the best – the farmers. The festivities officially start at 10:00 and end at 14:00 but cows are released from the barn at precisely 12:00; some farms, however, offer other opening hours – remember to check the farm’s website before you leave home and don’t forget your rubber boots and, for children, rain gear (we ran into trouble last year when our daughter fell into a mud puddle almost up to her waist!). You can find the farms closest to Aalborg here.
  • For their annual Easter concert the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra will play Mozart’s Mass in C-major under the direction of Swedish guest conductor Olof Boman on Wednesday, 16 April at Musikkens Hus. The orchestra will be joined by soloists Berit Norbakken Solset, soprano, Kristina Wahlin, mezzo-soprano, Mathias Hedegaard, tenor, and Jakob Bloch Jespersen, bass, as well as the Filharmonisk Kor Aalborg and Thisted Kirkes Drenge-Mandskor. Tickets are Kr. 215 (A) / 170 (B) / 145 (C) but don’t forget the special price of 75 kr. for students and persons under the age of 30 (which must be purchased by phone or in person). Concert begins at 19:30.
  • A 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).
  • AalborimageGen.ashxg’s annual Children’s Run will take place Sunday, 11 May at Karolinelund at 10:00. A route of 1 km will be drawn up and children ages 0 to 10 can take up to an hour to complete the course. Cost of participation is 85 kr. + 12 kr. fee if you sign up by 30 April; parents are welcome to run with their children for free. Race officials will distribute a number to each participating child and goodie-bags will be given out at the finish line. Click here for more information but please note that as of press time, the map, invitation and poster on the website are outdated (for last year’s race) and display the wrong location.
  • Due to complaints from travellers arriving at Aalborg Airport, public bus service from the airport to the city will be increased soon. Airport Director Søren Svendsen welcomes the upcoming change. ‘We’ve heard from customers that there are not enough buses in the evening, and those who do not want to wait for the next bus must pay for a taxi.’ Currently there is one bus an hour in the evenings; this will be increased to one bus every 30 minutes until midnight after 30 June of this year.
  • The number of restaurants for sale in Aalborg has doubled since Flammen opened its doors on Østerågade, reports Steen Royberg of Nybolig, which represents most of the restaurants for sale in the city. He estimates that Flammen and Jensen’s Steakhouse have taken away many customers from other establishments – at least during weekdays. ‘There are always restaurants for sale at any given time but right now there are approximately double what there used to be.’

 As always, a big thanks to Midt-vest Avis (9 April 2014 issue) for many of these items.

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.