As reported on icethesite in August, Benny has been appointed as an honorary doctor by the Luleå University of Technology.
Yesterday, he attended a ceremony to receive the honour from the University’s Philosophical Faculty.
The title is awarded in recognition of his commitment to music and audio engineering and is officially bestowed today, 10 November.
When the former Hep Stars and ABBA member took the podium he chose not to make a traditional speech. Instead he answered questions from Professor Jan Bergman, director of the philosophical faculty.
“I am very happy that I am here. I am surprised, proud and happy…” said Benny.
He told attendees at the ceremony of how an accordion he received as a childhood gift had begun a musical journey that is still ongoing.
Among his musical milestones, Benny listed his 1966 hit with the Hep Stars, Sunny Girl, the formation of ABBA, opening Polar Music Studios in 1976, the musicals Chess and Kristina från Duvemåla and the release of Klinga mina klockor with Orsa Spelmän in 1987.
Of Klinga mina klockor, Benny said: “It was a little like closing the circle. I realised I had to do a disc exactly as I wanted it, with fiddle and accordion, just like Grandpa taught me to play when I was six years old.”
He then invited the audience to sit back and enjoy 7½ minutes of music that inspires him…folk music, 60s pop, opera, a classical piano piece, African folk music and Evert Taube – widely divergent styles but with the same force of feeling.
In October, Benny together with members of BAO, played a unique concert at Piteå’s Studio Acusticum. It included a specially composed 11 minute long piece of music, entitled En skrift i snön, to inaugurate the university’s new super organ.
A short interview with Benny can be seen by following the link to Swedish TV below.