Aksel Rykkvin (b. 11.04.2003) is a classically trained treble who released his debut album «Aksel! Arias by Bach, Handel & Mozart» on Signum Classics in 2016. The same year, Aksel was nominated to «Spellemannprisen», the most important award of the Norwegian recording industry, as «Newcomer of the Year». The album was recorded in England with one of the world’s premiere period orchestras, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, conducted by Nigel Short. It received excellent reviews in international magazines such as Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, Opera Now and Diapason, where the record also received the award Diapason D’Or Découverte. In its first week, the album entered the official UK specialist classical chart at no. 6.
Aksel won the prestigious Norwegian Music Competition for Youth in 2016/17, earning the title «Musician of the Year» in competition against all age groups and vocal and instrumental categories. Two years earlier, at the age of eleven, he won the class for singers 10-15 years.
Aksel has been invited as a soloist with the most important Norwegian orchestras, such as the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, the Trondheim Soloists, Barokkanerne, Trondheim Barokk, the Oslofjord Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra and Ensemble Allegria. He has worked with prominent musicians of international format: Arve Tellefsen, Christian Ihle Hadland, Henning Kraggerud, Håvard Gimse, Kåre Nordstoga, Lars Anders Tomter, Marianne Thorsen, Mark Bennett and Sigmund Groven.
Aksel has performed at music festivals all over Norway, including Risør Chamber Music Festival, Oslo Chamber Music festival, Gloger Festival (Kongsberg), Opera festival weeks in Kristiansund, Oslo International Church Music Festival, Røros Organ Festival, KKKK Festival in Kristiansund and the launch concert of the new Fjord Classics festival in Sandefjord. He has sung as a soloist in the greatest cathedrals in Norway, in Oslo Concert Hall, the main stage at the Norwegian Opera, Olavshallen in Trondheim, and even sung through a solo program in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge.
Aksel started out in Oslo Cathedral Boys’ Choir as a five year old, where he was taught by voice teacher Helene Haarr. Since 2013, he has also sung in the Children’s Chorus of the Norwegian Opera & Ballet, conducted by Edle Stray-Pedersen. Aksel attends the talent program «Music at Majorstuen school», which is run by the Barratt Due Institute of Music together with the City Of Oslo. From 2013, Marianne Lewis has been his main vocal teacher, both at the Opera and at Majorstuen.
Aksel has performed many times on Norwegian television NRK and TV2, including several concerts with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, a guest appearance on the NRK Lindmo talkshow and opening one of the most watched programs in Norway, the «Kvelden før kvelden» show on the night before Christmas. On the radio, he has sung a mini concert live on the BBC Radio 3 show «In Tune», and visited NRK programs such as «Spillerom».
In March 2016, Aksel achieved international acclaim for his interpretation of «The boy» in Rolf Wallin’s science fiction opera «Elysium» at the Norwegian Opera & Ballet. The Financial Times wrote that Aksel was «freakishly good, with a musical assurance and richness of tone that are almost superhuman» and Frankfürter Allgemeine called him an «outstanding, fabulously confident boy soprano». In June 2016 he played the role of the child in Daniel Proietto’s awardwinning ballet «Cygne», this was also on the Main House stage in Oslo. He has received great reviews for soloist appearances with the Children’s Chorus of the Norwegian Opera & Ballet, for example in the title role in Kurt Weill’s «Der Jasager». For spring 2017, Aksel has been cast in one of the greatest boy roles in the opera literature, as «Yniold» in Debussy’s «Pélleas et Mélisande» at The Norwegian Opera & Ballet.
Aksel has sung as a soloist at many official functions, often with members of the Norwegian Royal Family or the Government present. He has a big international following in social media, and has more than 12 000 followers on Facebook and YouTube put together, and more than 1,5 million video views.
Sandefjord Church, 13:00