Arts & Entertainment

Classical concert adds international flavor with pianist

Musician Knute Erik Jensen grew up in Hell but has fond memories of the place.

That would be Hell, Norway.

"I have friends who visited Hell several years ago and told me they couldn't figure out why such a beautiful little place could have been given such a hellish name," Jensen said in an e-mail this week.

"I spent my first seven years in Hell and it was a nice place right next to the Trondheim fjord, which was quite close to the airport," he added. "So I guess you can say that the noise from traffic was the only thing hellish about it."

Jensen will pay a visit to the Tri-Cities on Jan. 30 to perform a concert of classical music starting at 7 p.m. at First Lutheran Church in Kennewick.

These days he divides his living space between Oslo, Trondheim in Norway, Berlin and Canada, where he'll take up an artist residency this year.

Jensen said he sees himself more as a musician than just a pianist. He plays several instruments and sings professionally.

"I've always been like this, doing lots of different things musically," he said. "The main thing for me is to follow my heart musically. Therefore I've always tried to present myself as a musician rather than a pianist."

The essence of his music is the language he speaks most fluently, he said.

"For me, music is a spiritual thing. A wonderful bridge between spirit and emotions and the world of materialism."

The Tri-City concert is sponsored by the Sons of Norway and KFL Fine Arts Guild. Admission is free but donations are welcome.

The church is at 418 N. Yelm St., Kennewick.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;