In 1961, on Jan Eliasson’s 21st birthday, Dag Hammarskjöld the Swedish Secretary-General of the U.N., died in a plane crash. “I heard the news on the radio. At that moment I decided that I must work at the United Nations and follow his path in diplomacy. He was one of my heroes and role models,” said Eliasson.
In celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the U.N. and in honor of one of its most highly respected Secretary-Generals, Per Tengstrand joins current U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson on stage as the two friends reminisce about this extraordinary life, with music inspired by readings from Hammarskjöld’s Markings (1963).
About Per Tengstrand
Per Tengstrand (b. 1968, Växjö) is a Swedish pianist and artistic director of Music on Park Avenue: Evenings with Pianist Per Tengstrand at Scandinavia House. He began playing the piano at six years old and entered the Malmö Academy of Music at age 16, studying under Hans Pålsson. In 1985 Tengstrand was accepted at the Conservatoire de Paris in the class of Dominique Merlet. He continued private studies with Dominique Weber and Romuald Sztern to prepare for international piano competitions.
Tengstrand has received numerous honors and awards, including First Prize at the 1997 Cleveland International Piano Competition. He was named a laureate of the Geneva Competition (1996) and a laureate of the Paris International Long-Thibaud Competition (1996). Tengstrand was the recipient of the 1997 Anders Wall Foundation Scholarship and was awarded the 1999 Musician Award by the Swedish Arts Grants Committee. While at the Conservatoire de Paris, Tengstrand received the Premier Prix, Premier Nommé, and the Prix Spécial du Jury and was awarded the Prix de Virtuosité at the Geneva Conservatory. In 2005 he was decorated with the “Litteris et Artibus” Medal by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden for outstanding service to the arts. He is also the recipient of the 2014 Lunds Studentsångförenings Solistpris (LSS) Award, one of Sweden’s biggest musical awards.
Recent career highlights include performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat majorduring Neeme Järvi’s final subscription concerts with the New Jersey Philharmonic; performances with the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap; the Residentie der Leonard Slatkin; and the Madison Symphony Orchestra, under Edo de Waart. Tengstrand has recorded the complete cycle of Beethoven sonatas for his Mindfeel label.
His 2014-15 concert season includes engagements with Norddeutsche Radio Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig; the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva, Switzerland; and the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.
Tengstrand makes his home in Princeton, New Jersey with his wife and collaborator, pianist Shan-shan Sun. They comprise the Tengstrand-Sun Piano Duo, which has enjoyed great success following their first prize at the 2003 Murray Dranoff International Two-Piano Competition. The duo has released three CDs on the Mindfeel label, and he has recorded a solo CD for ProPiano of Alexander Glazunov’s The Seasons (1900) and his Konzertwalzer (a world premiere).