Swedish pianist and artistic director Per Tengstrand – now in his fifth season of musical programming at Scandinavia House – performs a series of concerts with distinguished guest musicians.
The series highlights the repertoire of Scandinavian chamber music and its composers.
Markings & Music – In Celebration of Dag Hammarskjöld with H.E. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson & Per Tengstrand
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).
About Jan Eliasson
H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, was born in Gothenburg, Sweden. He graduated from the Swedish Naval Academy in 1962 and earned a Master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration in 1965.
From 2007 to 2008, Eliasson served as the Special Envoy of the U.N. Secretary-General for Darfur. Prior to this, he served as President of the 60th session of the U.N. General Assembly and as Sweden’s Ambassador to the U.S. from September 2000 until July 2005. In March 2006, Eliasson was appointed Foreign Minister of Sweden and served in this capacity until the elections in the fall of 2006.
Eliasson served, from 1994 to 2000, as Sweden’s State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, a key position in formulating and implementing Swedish foreign policy. He was Sweden’s Ambassador to the U.N. from 1988 to 1992, and also served as the Secretary-General’s Personal Representative for Iran/Iraq.
The first U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Eliasson was also involved in operations in Africa and the Balkans. He took initiatives on landmines, conflict prevention, and humanitarian action. From 1980 to 1986, he was part of the U.N. mediation missions in the war between Iran and Iraq, headed by former Prime Minister Olof Palme. In 1993 to 1994, he served as mediator in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Prior to his appointment as Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson also served as Chair of Water Aid/Sweden and a member of the U.N. Secretary-General’s Advocacy Group of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).