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Lofoten Concert Hall

Lofoten Kulturhus (opened in 2009), like most other cultural centers, was more expensive than planned, and there was no money for a concert grand piano. At the same time, the cultural center received a gift for the purpose of NOK 300,000 from the Sparebankstiftelsen. There was therefore hope.


Lofoten Kulturhus was discussed during a board meeting of the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival as early as spring 2007. There was a great desire to contribute to the process. Managing director Knut Kirkesæther contacted Thron Ihrby again. Steinway Norway had a used Steinway & Sons model D for sale. The price for the instrument was NOK 500,000, i.e. NOK 200,000 more than what had already been given as a gift.

The board contacted the leader of the building committee in Vågan Municipality, Tommy Steinsvik, with a concrete offer. The festival wanted to take out a loan of NOK 500,000 to buy the instrument (2007), until the gift from the Sparebankstiftelsen could be paid out. The condition was that the instrument was placed in the Lofoten Cathedral until the cultural center was to be completed in 2009. Tommy Steinsvik agreed to the proposal.


Kulturhuset's Steinway & Sons arrived at the Lofoten Cathedral just before the festival in 2007 and was already put into use during the festival's opening concert on 9 July. Here, Arve Tellefsen and the Estonian pianist Kalle Randalu played Grieg's violin sonata in C minor so that the audience was moved to tears.

Lofoten Kulturhus opened in May 2009. The house's Steinway & Son's model D was then moved from the Lofoten Cathedral to be used during the festival's opening concert on 6 July. This was the first classical concert in the house, and with, among others, Arve Tellefsen on the poster, the house was sold out with almost 700 in the audience.


In the final financing of the grand piano, Svolvær City Theater contributed NOK 80,000. The then mayor Hugo Bjørnstad also received NOK 100,000 from Olav Thon. The final contribution from the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival was only NOK 20,000.

This instrument was 15 years old when it arrived in Lofoten. It had been posted both at the Norwegian Academy of Music and in the University Aula in Oslo. A total of NOK 50,000 was therefore collected to replace various wearing parts in 2011. Among all the good and newer grand pianos in Lofoten, the cultural center's grand piano was the world-famous pianist Marc-André Hamelin's favorite during the Lofoten Piano Festival 2016.

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