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Björn news compilation

Mr Ulvaeus has had a busy time too!

Have the recent articles regarding Benny, BAO etc left you wondering what Björn has been up to in recent months? Well, he too, has been busy. Here is a summary:

2 October

Björn attended a lunch at Fri Tanke, the humanist magazine for which he is a regular contributor.

3 October

As one of the project’s financial partners, Björn participated in the Swedish Music Hall of Fame press conference.

The venue for the Hall of Fame will be situated in the Djurgården district of Stockholm and is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2013. It will house Abba The Museum.

During the press event, Björn told reporters that he considers the ABBA story a worthwhile one and said that he hoped people will get to know ABBA more intimately when they visit the exhibition.

13 October

As reported in Swedish newspaper Expressen, Björn and Benny visited the Svenstoppen studios, where they were presented with a cake to celebrate 50 years of Swedish chart success. During the programme Björn spoke about how important the charts had been to them.

Du är min man was voted top of the radio station listeners’ all time favourite songs, having spent a total of 278 weeks on the chart, 66 of which were at number 1!

27 October

As previously reported  on icethesite, Björn and his wife Lena were at the opening ceremony of the new 65,000 seater Friends Arena in Solna, Stockholm.

Along with pieces from CHESS and Kristina från Duvemåla, the audience were treated to a duet entitled I Can See Myself In You, sung by Tommy Körberg and Danny Saucedo written by Tobias Gustavsson (music) and Björn (lyrics).

30 October

As you may have read on the icethesite Facebook page, Björn and his wife Lena dedicated SEK 3m (approximately £280,000, US$ 450,000) to Karolina Institutet for medical research.

10 November

Björn with Niklas Strömstedt at the Musikförläggarna Pris awards. Photo: Ivan da Silva

Björn accompanied by Görel Hanser, attended Musikförläggarnas Pris, the annual prize giving lunch of music publishers. The 2012 ceremony was held at ‘Berns”, one of Stockholm’s trendiest boutique hotels. Björn presented one of the awards.

16 November

Björn together with original members of the Hootenanny Singers, Hansi Schwarz and Tony Roth, attended a concert in Lund by Östen med Resten who perform a Hootenanny Singers tribute. After the performance, the three of them took the stage.

They spoke of how they had, until that evening, thought that they’d been long forgotten. Björn added that the Hootenanny Singers meant everything to him as it was how he had come to meet Benny Andersson and the reason he was still involved with music today. However, he admitted that he couldn’t remember all the lyrics, not even those that he had written!

For the full story in Swedish, see Västerviks Tidningen.

17 November

Bjorn reportedly said he is involved with the writing of Hjälp sökeswhich premieres at Stockholm’s Orionteatern on 8th February 2013. Until now this was thought to be a Benny Andersson, Lars Rudolfsson, and Kristina Lugn collaboration. There was no mention of Björn at the musical’s press conference in September and he is not credited on any of the publicity material that has so far been released. Will keep you

19 November

Today is the day when Björn’s latest lyrics are unveiled! Björn has contributed to two songs on Benny Anderssons Orkester’s (with singers Helen Sjöholm and Tommy Körberg) release Tomten har åkt hem – an album of Christmas songs both old and new.

Benny Andersson and Helen Sjöholm to participate in televised Lucia day celebration

Helen Sjöholm and Benny Andersson to appear at Uppsala Cathedral on 13 December

Benny Andersson and Helen Sjöholm, together with fellow members of BAO, Göran Arnberg (organ), and Olle Moreaus (violin), are to participate in this year’s Lucia morning celebrations at Uppsala Cathedral. They will perform alongside the Uppsala Cathedral Choir and the Stockholm Brass Orchestra.

The ceremony, which is part of a national festival and traditionally marks the beginning of Sweden’s Christmas season, will take place on Thursday 13 December. The performance is to be shown on SVT2 at 0700 and will be repeated later the same day on both SVT2 and SVT24.

On 25 August, BAO played their only concert of 2012 in Uppsala’s Vaksala Torg.

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Benny receives his doctorate from Luleå Technical University

Benny receives his doctorate. Photo: Håkan Stridblom

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.

Benny at the Luleå Technical University

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