On Wednesday evening, Benny Anderssons Orkester played a private concert at Stockholm’s Royal College of Music, Kungliga Musikhögskolan (KMH) for an audience of 200 invited guests consisting of representatives from Swedish music society and potential benefactors of the college’s Music for Millions fundraising project.
KMH is currently undergoing something of a reincarnation. Its outdated buildings are being replaced by a state of the art facility, which, by the time work is completed in 2016, aims to be the most modern music college in the world.
Although the majority of the construction costs will be met by the Academic House (Dept. of Education), KMH must themselves raise the remaining SEK 114m (£11m) necessary to fit out the interior.
Benny is a member of the business advisory group set up to steer the Music for Millions fundraising project, and he says that it was at one of the group’s meetings that they asked him ‘very nicely’ if BAO would be willing to play for them. Benny, of course, agreed.
During their 45 minute set, BAO, complete with Helen Sjöholm and Tommy Körberg, performed 14 tracks including old favourites such as Cirkus finemang, Du är min man and Mona’s vals, as well as the more recent additions to their playlist, Bortom sol och måne and Saknadens rum.
“They had some good students doing some nice stuff before we went on,” Benny told icethesite afterwards. “It was actually a very nice gig, with lots of musical people in the audience,” he added.
Cecilia Rydinger Alin, the music school’s Rector and Vice Chancellor said: “The concert provided the perfect backdrop to kick off our fundraising campaign. Our prospective sponsors were able to get a feel for the high quality and standard of KMH and our students. It was a great pleasure and honour to have BAO joining us to play. We believe that it will have a huge impact on the coming work, getting the money for our new campus.”
Benny’s ongoing commitment to KMH is something that is much appreciated by Rydinger Alin. “With his warm personality, dedicated engagement, and his world leading position as a musician, having Benny on the board is very important to KMH,” she said.
Cecilia Berg, Senior International Officer of the colleges Education and Research Department, concluded: “We at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm are very grateful for the contribution from Benny Andersson, his musicians and crew. They are brilliant musicians that perform their music with a lot of joy. Thanks to BAO and our talented students the concert was a great success. It was a magical evening.”