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Björn Kristian Ulvaeus

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Björn Kristian Ulvaeus

Biography

Björn Kristian Ulvaeus (b. 25 April 1945, Gothenburg) is a Swedish songwriter, producer, a member of the Swedish musical group ABBA, and co-composer of the musicals Chess, Kristina från Duvemåla, and Mamma Mia!.

Ulvaeus studied business and law at Lund University after undertaking his military service.

Before gaining international recognition with ABBA, Ulvaeus was a member of the Swedish folk-schlager band Hootenanny Singers, known earlier as the "West Bay Singers", who had an enormous following in Scandinavia. While on the road in southern Sweden in 1966, they encountered the Hep Stars, and Ulvaeus quickly became friends with the group's keyboard player, Benny Andersson. The two musicians shared a passion for songwriting, and each found a composing partner in the other. On meeting again that summer, they composed their first song together: "Isn't It Easy To Say", a song soon to be recorded by Andersson's group.

Björn Ulvaeus continued recording and touring with Hootenanny Singers to great acclaim while working as in-house producer at Polar Record Company. In December 1969, they recorded the new song She's My Kind of Girl, which became their first single as a duo. The Hootenanny Singers entered Svensktoppen, the Swedish radio charts, in 1970 with Omkring Tiggarn Från Luossa, a cover of an old folk-schlager song. It remained on the charts for 52 consecutive weeks, a record which endured until 1990; the song was produced by Björn and Benny, and had Ulvaeus's solo vocal and Benny's piano.

Ulvaeus and Andersson, together with their wives, formed ABBA in 1971. After ABBA went on hiatus in 1982, Ulvaeus and Andersson created the musicals Chess, a collaboration with lyricist Tim Rice, Kristina från Duvemåla (based on The Emigrants novels by Swedish writer Vilhelm Moberg), and Mamma Mia! (based on ABBA songs).

Together with Andersson, Ulvaeus was nominated for the Drama Desk Award in the category "Outstanding Music" (for the musical Chess), and for a Tony Award in a category "Best Orchestrations" (for the musical Mamma Mia!). The original cast recordings for both musicals were nominated for a Grammy Award.


Works for Winds


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