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"En mai, fais ce qu'il te plaît ! " 
This is YOUR newsletter 

Dear reader,

“En mai, fais ce qu’il te plait”, (“In May do as you please”) we say in French.

I am delighted to open this May newsletter to all your creative contributions and inspiration! Please send me your book, film recommendation! Do you have a favorite music (and it does not have to be classic) you want to share, or a great cooking recipe? I will publish your messages in this open letter.

My dream is to make of this tiny association based in Stavanger a space to reconnect to the  beauty of the world for a larger communauty. Beauty is obviously not in a computer, a facebook page or an Instagram account… I mean, it is outside in Nature, in its artistic representations and …inside you, in the manner you grab it and make it part of your own world. Marcel Proust described it in the last book of “In search of lost time” (here I go again…), “Time Regained”. My association “Den gjenfundne tid” takes its name directly from this masterpiece. Thank you Marcel!

“What we did not have to decipher, to clarify by our personal effort, what was clear before us, is not ours. Only comes from ourselves what we draw from the darkness that is in us and that others do not know….And as art recomposes life exactly, around these truths that we have reached in ourselves, floats an atmosphere of poetry, the sweetness of a mystery which is only the penumbra that we have crossed. »

I find these words magical, and they resonate intimately to me with the music of Szymanovksi, which I discovered through the pianist Frédéric Vaysse-Knitter. You can listen more specifically to the third Etude in B-flat minor, which opens his album on Szymanovksi. I feel this chiaroscuro atmosphere, the sense of effort described by Proust but also the ineluctable conviction that now it is time to surrender to beauty.

After I discovered this music, I had a dream that I could know the pianist better…and this summer, the dream comes true! I am so happy that Frédéric Vaysse-Knitter accepted to play in the Reconciliation festival and Szymanovksi is on the program! You will find more information about the concert on the website ( . I was also crazy of joy when I found out that Chopin Ballade 4 would open the concert… I hope I will see you there but meanwhile let me introduce you to our musician artist-in-residence…not with my own words but what the press wrote.

« Frédéric Vaysse-Knitter is clearly following in the tradition of Chopin, Debussy and Liszt. Starting with the first book of Debussy’s Images, he achieved a shocking, almost physical beauty, ringing with boundless clarity. (…) The power, gravitas and harmonic richness of his interpretation [of Liszt’s Funérailles] cannot fail to impress, as Vaysse-Knitter elicits from this solemn work a diversity of sound that would rival a grand symphony orchestra. Then finally, there is Debussy’s Poisson d’or (…), fluidly played, with the delicate touch of overwhelming virtuosity. » Bruno Serrou (June 2016)

« Every descent into the self is also an ascension, an assumption, a glance toward the true external reality. » This quote from Novalis perfectly expresses the quintessence of Vaysee-Knitter’s nature – his playing is characterised by an extreme intensity and sense of vital urgency that grips the listener, as the piano under his hands sings melodies of introspection and transcendence.

It is a huge honor that this artist is performing in our city and in the Festival. Frédéric also performs in such prestigious venues as the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and the Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Herkulesaal in Munich, the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and auditoriums in Grenada, Murcia and Monterrey in Mexico… Frédéric was trained in the grand tradition of the piano institutes of France, Poland and Germany. He entered the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Paris at the age of 13, where he was awarded a « Premier Prix » diploma for piano and chamber music, having spent his time there honing his craft. He then had a decisive encounter with pianist and conductor, Krystian Zimerman, who gave him advice and guidance in choosing his path. He went on to the Musikhochschule in Freiburg and obtained a diploma as a soloist. Finally, he perfected his skills with such musical authorities as György Sebők, Alexis Weissenberg, Alicia de Larrocha and Leon Fleisher at the prestigious International Piano Academy Lake Como.

Now my next dream is to have you at the concert so we can achieve together a beautiful moment of communication through music. Marcel Proust (him again 😊 ) was writing “music is the means of communication between souls”. I would like to add that music in itself can’t be: you need musicians and you need a public…otherwise it just  pieces of paper.


On these last words, I wish you a beautiful month of May…I doubt that you will jump on my book recommendation so let’s see what's  yours!

Nirina Haller

Founder of the Reconciliation Festival and the association "Den gjenfundne tid"



  • More links to the artists and participants of the festival on

  • You will find the first newsletter on the site in the section "About us"

  • Plan your visit to the Reconciliation festival from now: check the “Tickets” section and benefit from the early bird price.


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