Stockholm’s Royal College of Music, Kungliga Musikhögskolan (KMH), is currently undergoing a SEK 900m redevelopment programme to replace its outdated buildings with a state of the art facility, which aims to be the most modern music college in the world.
Last Tuesday, members of the Swedish media were invited to a press conference held at the 16,000m² construction site, to take a look at the work that has been completed so far.
So far the campaign has received almost SEK 58m in donations and Benny told journalists that he is enjoying his role on the advisory board.
Benny said: “It is a fun and interesting project to be involved with. They are building one large and several smaller recording studios, each with different functions and there is a lot of equipment that needs to be put into them.
“Having built three studios for myself over the years, that have all worked well, I can contribute a little ‘know-how’ when it comes to studio construction.
“I can also be helpful in terms of contacts – people I know who may be interested in supporting the project.”
During the event, KMH’s Rector, Cecilia Rydinger Alin, showed reporters the new 5 storey high ‘glass box’ that will house several concert halls (the largest of which will have a capacity to seat 600), the recording studios, classrooms, practice and rehearsal rooms, computer rooms, administration offices, a café and restaurant.
On the other side of the campus there will be a second, smaller building, with spaces for teaching and rehearsals together with a so-called ‘black box’ for the student’s musical experiments. Between the two new, contemporary structures, old brick stables are being restored to house the music college’s library.
The finished project will also include a residential block containing 360 apartments.
Rydinger Alin expressed her hope that the new facility will attract visitors both young and old alike.
“The goal is not only to create the world’s most modern music academy for the next generation of stars, but also a highly active concert hall.
“What we are creating here is something quite unique.”
Benny agreed, adding that it would be nice if the new concert halls and studios not only attracted new audiences, but perhaps also introduced pop music to KMH.
“There’s not much pop going on here currently, although of course there are some students at KMH who are training in classical, jazz, or folk music, who will end up working in popular music. There are several in my band, for example, who have studied here,” he said.
SVT report showing the construction and featuring an interview with Benny:
KMH’s Vice Chancellor, Staffan Scheja, sees the new premises and equipment as an opportunity to offer a wider selection of courses at KMH.
“Now we will have the technical means to really be at the forefront when it comes to music production. We have outstanding producers, singers, songwriters and video artists in Sweden today and now, we can develop courses to meet their needs. Benny’s involvement will be a great help, providing some good contacts and advice. We are very grateful that he is so passionate about this,” said Scheja.
In 2013, BAO (Benny Anderssons Orkester), kick-started KMH’s Music for Millions fundraising campaign, with a private concert for potential benefactors. The new building’s inauguration ceremony is scheduled to take place in October 2016 and Benny said that he might compose a new piece of music especially for the occasion. “That is, if they ask me!” he said, chuckling.