Stockholm University’s Faculty of Humanities is to confer an Honorary Doctorate on musician and composer Benny Andersson. The ceremony will take place on the 26th September in Stockholm’s City Hall.
Benny Andersson, born 1946, has been a leading figure within Swedish popular music for over forty years. Well known within Swedish music export, in particular through his work with ABBA, he has contributed significantly to placing Swedish music on the world map. Benny Andersson has, during recent years, widened the entire genre of popular music through the production of musicals inspired by Swedish tradition and history, such as Kristina from Duvemåla, based on Vilhelm Moberg’s epic tale of mass emigration, and seen by over one million people worldwide.
Benny Andersson has contributed importantly both to the preservation and the growth of the Swedish folk music tradition. By bringing attention to folk music, and by means of his own compositional work based upon older musical traditions, Benny Andersson has succeeded in capturing the tone of the Swedish musical soul. By doing so he has initiated a renaissance of the folk instrument, the accordian. The results of Benny Andersson’s long and important engagement with Swedish folk and popular music span an enormous breadth and are at the same pervaded by a uniquely high quality.
"I feel incredibly honoured to have been chosen to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Stockholm University – and happily surprised," said Benny Andersson speaking after the decision.
"It is a pleasure to be able to draw attention in this way to Benny Andersson’s significant contribution to Swedish folk and popular music, a contribution that has influenced generations of students – not least of which within the subject of music. It is especially delightful to be able to do this at Stockholm University – the university in the city that has been the base for the whole of Benny Andersson’s musical life," added the Dean of the Faculty, Gunnar Svensson.
Footage from the ceremony on Friday 26 September:
Many thanks to Niclas Ericsson.