Rybak: I love Azerbaijani culture

By Nigar Orujova

The Heydar Aliyev Center hosted a fabulous concert by Norwegian artist Alexander Rybak.

The singer and violinist Rybak, who celebrated his 28th birthday in Baku, also held a master class for the talented students of the Azerbaijan Republic art gymnasium and rehearsed with them for three days.

The concert consisted of three parts. In the first part, the orchestra of students of the art gymnasium in national dress performed works of prominent Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyli, Gara Garayev, Fikret Amirov, Niyazi, Vasif Adigozalov and Tofig Guliyev.

Performance of young talents was greeted with thunderous applause.

Then, Alexander Rybak performed with students, and specially highlighted their talents.

"How many great talents you have! I have already been in Baku for three times, and each time I wonder the changes happening here," he said.

Rybak also expressed gratitude to the Heydar Aliyev Center and the Embassy of Norway in Azerbaijan for organizing the concert. "I want to thank you for inviting me here as a musician, a violinist and a teacher," he said.

The young singer has also sung his hits, accompanied by pianist Stephen.

The audience enjoyed the concert full of great music and Rybak's jokes, and sang with the gifted musician.

At the end of the evening, Rybak masterly performed with Azerbaijani violinists of the gymnasium, who demonstrated their abilities and originality.

Speaking after the concert, the singer said: "the public has very warmly received my performance and listened attentively to both my classic songs and sang along during the cheerful compositions."

Rybak highly valued the students of the gymnasium.

"They are very talented. They listen to the advice of their senior, and they are disciplined, though they like to talk during the class time (laughs). We were working for three days, and today at the concert I felt that we became one big family," he said.

The singer also appreciated the city.

"I would particularly like to mention the grand architecture and interior of this building, where everything is made with extraordinary skill and taste. It shows the taste of Azerbaijanis which can be seen in the whole architecture of Baku," he said.

"I am very pleased that the city is built with a special love. It is important that Baku has a very developed infrastructure that you will not see in other big cities. You were thinking about future when building your city. That's why I love Baku," Rybak said.

In conclusion, Rybak added that in recent years he has worked a lot in Scandinavia.

"But I really want to get more familiar with Azerbaijani culture, to write a song for your artists and even create a duet with one of your singers. I love your culture. I have 70,000 friends from Azerbaijan on Facebook and it's time to start to cheer them up," Rybak underlined.

The talented musician has grown up in a family of professionally trained musicians and played both piano and violin from a very young age.

Later, Rybak chose violin that took him to Russia, the US and China as a member of different orchestras.

Fairytales, his debut album charted in the top 20 in nine European countries, including a No. 1 position in Norway and Russia.

In 2009, the singer represented Norway at "Eurovision", where the song "Fairytale" won with a record 387 points, which is today considered an unsurpassed exponent of all time of the prestigious European competition.