BENNY ANDERSSON & BJORN ULVAEUS, music
Best known for their 10-year stint with Swedish pop group ABBA from the 1970s-1980s, “Benny and Bjorn” have continued to share their musical talents with the world as both solo artists and collaborators across various genres. As a team, they quickly paved their way in the musical theatre world, starting with the Chess concept album in 1984 and later with Kristina från Duvemåla (Kristina from Duvemåla), a Swedish musical based on a 4-volume novel by Vilhelm Moberg about a family’s journey to America in the 19th century. Perhaps their most successful collaboration of all, Mamma Mia! (1999) – which brings together ABBA’s hits in jukebox musical form – enjoyed a 14-year run on Broadway and is currently the 7th longest-running show in West End history, still playing at the Novello Theatre. Mamma Mia! is continually revived throughout the world, with a recent staging this past July at the Hollywood Bowl. Together, they have garnered Drama Desk, Tony, Olivier, and Grammy award nominations.
With sibling pop duo Gemini, Benny and Bjorn composed music for two of Gemini’s albums, as well as the theme song for the 1987 Swedish fantasy film Mio in the Land of Faraway. Benny recently released a new solo album, Piano, in September 2017, and he still performs with BAO (Benny Andersson’s orchestra), which was formed in 2001.
SIR TIM RICE, lyrics
With Grammys, Tonys, and Oscars to his name, Sir Tim Rice is one of the most successful and well-known lyricists in the world today. Collaborating with other renown composers like Alan Menken, Elton John, and – long-time musical partner – Andrew Lloyd Webber, his lyrical genius can be heard on Broadway (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Beauty and the Beast), in Disney films (Aladdin, The Lion King), and in DreamWorks pictures (The Road to El Dorado). Early in his career, Rice also collaborated on singles for Elvis Presley and Freddie Mercury, as well as on the theme song for the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy. In the early 2010s, Rice hosted Tim Rice’s American Pie, a BBC Radio 2 broadcast that explored the music and musical history of American pop.
Rice was Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994, has authored books like The Treasures of Lords and his autobiography Oh, What a Circus, and even helped launch Pavilion Books publishing house. Although Rice’s initial introduction to Disney and partnership with Menken occurred after Howard Ashman’s early death in 1991, Menken and Rice have gone on to collaborate on 4 different works together, with their most recent endeavour for the new songs in the 2017 live action version of Beauty and the Beast.