Alexander Rybak was born on May 13th 1986
in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. At the age of five, Alexander and his little
family of three moved to Norway and settled at Nesodden near Oslo. Alexanders
parents are both professional musicians and they taught their son to play the
violin and piano from an early age. Soon, he had to choose between his two
instruments and he decided to go with the violin. He still plays the piano – as
a hobby – along with the guitar.
Alexander practiced with fierce discipline
for many hours every day and played concerts with his family and their musician
friends. At a very young age he debuted on the stage and many noticed
Alexander's talents. He enrolled at The Barrat Due Institute of Music when he
was 10. Alexander studied the great classical masters, but was from the
beginning also preoccupied with thinking "outside the box". He began playing
jazz and popular standards as well as pop hits. He composed music from an early
age. His violin took him to far away places including Russia, The United States
and China as a member of various orchestras.
Born with a competitive streak, Alexander
joined the Norwegian talent-contest "Idol"in 2005, but didn't get to the final.
A year later at the age of 20, he joined another talent contest,
"Kjempesjansen"(Norway´s got talent) with a broader approach to music and use
of instruments. With his own, jazzy composition "Foolin", Alexander won the
contest and the hearts of the Norwegian nation!
The director of one of Oslo's biggest
theatres cast Alexander for a production of "Fiddler on the Roof". His
performance led to a multitude of rave reviews and he was awarded a Hedda
Award, the highest acclamation a stage actor can achieve in Norway. In between
all of his engagements, Alexander found time to travel like fiddlers did in the
old days, playing for food and lodging in some of the valleys and islands of
On one of these trips, he got inspired to
write a song called "Fairytale"and when the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation
contacted him in late 2008, he had a plan. Alexander Rybak signed up for the
national Eurovision selection in Norway with his own song "Fairytale". He
performed on stage with folk dancers of the Frikar Dance Company and won with
the highest score of viewer votes ever. He went on to the 54th Eurovision Song
Contest in Moscow in May 2009 and won with a landslide victory. He finished
with a grand total of 387 points, breaking the previous record of 292 points
scored by Lordi in 2006 and scoring 169 points more than the runner-up from
"Fairytale", became a major hit in Europe
and was #1 on most European iTunes charts the following week. It also reached
top 3 on the European chart, #1 in Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Norway,
Sweden and Russia and #2 in Ireland, Finland and the Netherlands.
Alexander released his debut album
"Fairytales" in more than 25 European countries including Scandinavia,
Russia/CIS, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux, France and Greece. The
"Fairytales" album reached triple platinum status in Norway within two months.
It has also reached Gold status in Sweden and Double Platinum status in Russia,
where Alexander in mid August 2009 was #1 on the Russian Billboard charts.
After his Eurovision-Victory in May 2009,
Alexander was requested for concerts and TV-shows allover the world and he went
on a long Concert-Tour with his band and dancers and performed in Norway,
Sweden, Finland, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, UK, USA etc. while he kept
working and preparing for his future projects
In March 2010, Alexander was awarded with
the Norwegian Grammy-award: The coveted music prize "Spellemann of the Year"
Around the same time, he was invited to the
Russian MUZ-awards in Moscow, where he received a MUZ-award as "The Best
Newcomer of 2009"
Alexanders interest in acting led to a
character role in the movie "Yohan: The Child Wanderer" and to the Norwegian
voice dubbing of the lead character, Hiccup in the animated movies from
Dreamworks Animation "How To Train Your Dragon" and "How To Train Your Dragon
In 2011, Alexander launched a new project:
Musical workshops with young musicians from music schools and youth orchestras.
Alexander has developed the concept of 3 days of workshop and a final, public
concert with him and the young musicians. The workshops have been a huge
success in Norway, Sweden, USA and Turkey and with his love of teaching and the
inspiration he gets from children, it is something Alexander really loves to
In September 2011, Alexander went back to
school at Barratt Due Musical Institute to finish his violin studies and get
his bachelor degree as a violinist, something that had been postponed because
of his Eurovision victory in 2009. While he completed his studies, he managed
to continue his career as a performer, though with a little less packed
schedule. Alexander passed his exam at Barrat Due in June 2012 and got his
bachelor degree with a top 'A' grade.
In 2014, Alexander sent a song to the
American company Dreamworks Animation, who produced the "How To Train Your
Dragon" movie and they liked his song, "Into a Fantasy" so much, that they
decided to use it for the soundtrack of the second movie in the sequel: "How To
Train Your Dragon 2". It was close to the premier of the movie and it was
really too late to add another song, but Dreamworks managed to add "Into a
Fantasy" to the soundtrack of the movie in Scandinavia, many slavic and most
European countries. Alexander, once again, also did the Norwegian voice-dubbing
of the lead-character in this movie.
In 2014 Alexander composed songs for the
national Eurovision-selections in Malta and Belarus. In Malta, he wrote the
song "Still Here" for the young, talented singer Franklin Calleja and in
Belarus, he wrote the song "Accent" for the girl group "Milki", a group of 5
talented singers he had found himself after having organized open auditions in
5 Belarussian cities. Neither "Still Here" or "Accent" won their national
finals, but they got good placements and good reviews. Alexander will continue
the collaboration with "Milki"and they have plans about a joint concert tour. .
In July 2015, Alexander took part in a
theatre production in Norway, "Soot-Spelet", where some of the most popular
actors in Norway and Sweden were in the cast. Alexander was cast to play the
role as one of his big idols, the legendary Norwegian violinist and composer
For more than 3 years, in between all his
other engagements, Alexander has been working on a project, very close to his
heart and in September 2015, his efforts were rewarded and he could add the
title "Author"to his CV. The Norwegian publisher Cappelen Damm published his
childrens book "Trolle og den Magiske Fela". (Trolle and the Magic Fiddle) The
book is about a little Troll, who is a bit outcast and bullied, but when he
finds a magic fiddle which gives him magic powers, his life changes. On a
deeper level, the story is about the power and importance of friendship and
trust and how it can overcome fear and prejudice. Alexander calls "Trolle og
den Magiske Fela" a "Musical-in-a-book", because the book comes together with 3
CDs with 13 new songs and the story, narrated by Dennis Storhøi. "Trolle og den
Magiske Fela" has received great reviews in Norway and foreign publishers have
already shown interest. The Danish company Koppelwrite has bought the rights to
publish the book in Denmark in 2016.
- Last Updated: 08/15/2019
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