Music and Mind

Saturday, August 24 – 14.00

Sankt Petri church

Frédéric Vaysse-Knitter (piano), Ilmari Hopkins (cello) , with participation of Pr. Stefan Kölsch and Helga Guren.

duration: 1 hour

Music can have a profound positive impact on human mental health. In this concert, the artists wish to explore the balance between mental “sanity” and “insanity” in a musical context. The renowned neuroscientist and musician Stefan Kölsch will reflect on his own scientific approach on the issue and the actress Helga Guren will read related texts and poetry. In between you’ll hear music, both by composers who themselves have struggled with mental health issues and who used music as a tool to get “back to the surface”, and by others who have specifically composed music to describe different mental conditions.

Introduction by Pr. Stefan Kölsch
Anton Dvorak (1841-1904): Waldesruhe, op.68 n.5
Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Trio n2 B-flat major, D929: Andante con motto
Johan Ullén (born 1972): “The Dark Triad – Psychological Tango Traits” for solo cello. Movement 2: “Love Thyself” (Narcissistic)
Robert Schumann (1810-1856): 5 Stücke im Volkston, op 102 – I (Mit Humor) -IV (Nicht zu rasch) -V (Stark und markiert)
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975): Cello sonata in D minor, op 40, 4th movement Allegro


Frédéric Vaysse-Knitter performs as a guest on prestigious stages such as the Philharmonie de Paris, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and Concertgebouw in Amsterdam… He is trained in the great tradition of French, Polish, and German piano schools, beginning his studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris at the age of 13. He later had a pivotal encounter with Krystian Zimerman. Frédéric is involved in projects that combine music with other art forms. He often collaborates with choreographers and dancers, particularly at the Opéra de Paris (such as Alexander Ekman’s Play in 2022). Frédéric lives in Paris.

Ilmari Hopkins is the alternating principal cellist in the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra since 2002 and is a lecturer in cello at the University of Stavanger. He has studied with Anatoly Nikitin at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg and with Torleif Thedéen at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, where he received his Soloist Diploma in 2002. Ilmari is an enthusiastic chamber musician and has participated in several music festivals across Europe and South America. He is also a cello teacher at OAcademy (formerly OA Orchestra of the Americas) and the talent program (UtB) at the Stavanger Cultural School.

Stefan Kölsch is a world-leading brain scientist recruited by University of Bergen as Toppforsk (excellence research) Professor. His main research fields are neuroscience and experimental psychology. He is known for highly interdisciplinary work, co-authoring publications with neurologists, immunologists, psychiatrists, physicists, philosophers, musicologists, literary scholars, and psycholinguists. His bestseller book ” Good vibrations: the healing power of music” is available in german, french and norwegian…and soon in english.

Helga Guren studied at the Norwegian Theatre Academy (Teaterhøgskolen/KHiO), Esper Studio New York, and the Theatre Academy (Teaterhögskolan/StDH). She has also received opera training at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen and the Complete Vocal Institute in Copenhagen. She joined Rogaland Teater in Stavanger in 2010.
In 2013, she was nominated for the Hedda Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Diana in “Når enden er god er allting godt” and for the role of Edith in “Oh my God.” For her role in the film “Rosemari” in 2016, she won the Kanonprisen 2016 for Best Supporting Role.
She won the Hedda Award for Best Actress in 2019 for her role as the protagonist in “Dritt//La Merda” by Cristian Ceresoli.
She is a versatile artist and plays norwegian hardingfele and harp as well as she sings and composes music. She founded Guren Salong, a musical initiative in 2012 and launched Trio Tractus in 2022.