AboutAlexander Igoryevich Rybak (Alyaksandr Iharavich Rybak; born 13 May 1986) is a Belarusian singer-composer, violinist, pianist, actor. Representing Norway in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, Russia, Rybak won the contest with 387 points—the highest tally any country has achieved in the history of Eurovision under the old voting system—with "Fairytale", a song he wrote and composed. His debut album, Fairytales, charted in the top 20 in nine European countries, including a No. 1 position in Norway and Russia. Rybak made a return to Eurovision in 2012 and 2016, playing the violin during both interval acts.
Rybak was born in Minsk, Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union. His family emigrated to Norway, when Alexander still was at an early age. He became a student at the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo at the age of 10. As a result of his success in the Eurovision Song Contest, he took a break from his bachelor's degree studies at the institute, but in 2011, he returned to his studies and in June 2012, he graduated from Barratt Due Institute of Music with a Bachelor of Music in violin performance.
In 2004, Rybak was awarded the Anders Jahre Culture Prize presented to him by Viktoriya Rybak at the annual culture festival in Madrid, Spain. In 2005, he entered the Norwegian version of Idol, Idol: Jakten på en superstjerne, reaching the semifinal. In 2006, Rybak won Kjempesjansen ("The Great Opportunity"), a talent competition hosted by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), with his own song, "Foolin". Rybak has collaborated with artists such as a-ha's lead singer Morten Harket and Arve Tellefsen. In 2007, Rybak played the fiddle in Oslo Nye Teater's production of Fiddler on the Roof and won the Hedda Award for this role.
Rybak was born in Minsk, Belarus, which at that time was the Belarusian SSR in the Soviet Union. When he was 4 years old, he and his family moved to Nesodden, Norway. Rybak was raised in the Orthodox religion. At the age of five, Rybak began to play the piano and the violin. His parents are Natalia Valentinovna Rybak, a classical pianist, and Igor Alexandrovich Rybak, a well-known classical violinist who performs alongside Pinchas Zukerman. He stated "I always liked to entertain and somehow that is my vocation". Rybak bought a new apartment and lives now at Aker Brygge (Oslo, Norway). Rybak speaks Norwegian, Russian and English fluently, and has performed songs in all three languages. Rybak has also performed in Belarusian and, with Elisabeth Andreassen, in Swedish.
In 2010, several incidents of uncontrolled anger caused commentators to question whether Rybak has an anger control problem. During the trials for the ESC 2010 finals in Bærum, Rybak became so infuriated when a sound technician was not doing what he wanted that he smashed his own hand, breaking his fingers. Also, during trials for Swedish television in June 2010, he smashed his violin on the floor. His appearance was then cancelled. According to his manager, Kjell Arild Tiltnes, Rybak does not have an issue with aggression. Tiltnes stated that "as long as he abreacts on objects and on himself, I see no reason for this to be something that he needs help dealing with." Rybak said, "I never raised my voice before, and that's why I did what I did. I'm just a human being—and perhaps not the glossy image many believe. So it was good to get out frustrations so I could go on. It's only me that goes beyond the same."