On Thursday 3 March, Benny Andersson joined students and alumni of KMH (Kungliga Musikhögskolan), Stockholm’s Royal College of Music, for a fundraising gala at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
The prestigious event was held in aid of KMH’s Music For Millions campaign of which Benny is a member of the advisory board.
Hosted by the Royal College’s Vice-Chancellor, Cecilia Rydinger-Alin, the evening was attended by around 150 prominent guests, including Björn Lyrvall – United States Ambassador of Sweden, Leif Pagrotsky – Consul General, Torsten Wiesel – Nobel Laureate, Richard Armstrong – Director of the Guggenheim Museum and contributors to the KMH Music Fund.
While the audience enjoyed a cocktail reception and dinner, KMH showcased performances from a variety of Swedish artists including Steffan Scheja (acclaimed pianist and Professor of Classical Piano), Lena Willemark (folk musician, composer), and electro-pop duo, ‘I Am Karate’.
Towards the end of the night Benny took to the stage and, after a brief introduction – during which he joked, “I am delighted to be back in New York. Actually, I am delighted to be anywhere!”, he played three songs: Money, Money, Money, followed by a piece composed by and performed with Lena Willemark, Kolld ir å wärdi and for the grand finale with all of the evenings performers, Thank You For The Music.
Afterwards Benny told icethesite that he had enjoyed the event immensely:
“New York is a very special city and the venue was perfectly chosen for the occasion,” he said. “I think the audience remembered the old ABBA guy and they definitely got the message about the money, money, money!”
KMH’s Ida Lindkvist told us that they were very grateful to Benny for his support of the concert:
“Benny’s appearance was much appreciated by our guests, who greeted him with lots of cheering and a long applause. They all spontaneously sang along and Thank You For The Music received a standing ovation,” she said.
Although the gala was filmed by KMH, they have not yet decided when or where the footage will be released.
The Royal College’s new state of the art campus is expected to open later this year.