Benny Andersson was born in Stockholm in 1946. Unlike his co-authors of the score of Chess, he did not attempt an unsuccessful legal career in the early sixties but instead his education peaked when he was successful in obtaining his driving license. An accomplished musician, he spent most of the sixties starring with The Hep Stars, the most popular group in the Nordic countries prior to the phenomenal success of ABBA. Benny is married to Swedish journalist Mona Norklit and they live in Stockholm with their six-year-old son Ludvig.
Björn Ulvaeus was born in 1945 in Gothenburg on Sweden's west coast. His parents had planned that he should become a civil engineer, but somehow that was never to happen. During his later college years he was playing guitar and singing in a folk group (much in the same style as the Kingston Trio), and as the group became more and more popular, they started touring all around Sweden. It was during one of these tours that he met Benny Andersson, who was a member of an even more successful rock group. They enjoyed each other's company to such an extent that they wrote a song together on the first night they met. This happened in 1964, and the collaboration has been virtually unbroken since then. In the late sixties, Björn met Agnetha Faeltskog almost at the same time as Benny met Anni-frid Lyngstad. What started as purely romantic relationships went on to become ABBA. With hits such as "Waterloo," "Fernando," "Dancing Queen" and "The Winner Takes It All," ABBA became one of the most successful pop groups ever, with 10 albums and some 30 singles selling in excess of 250 million copies worldwide. Even during the ABBA years the idea of writing a musical seemed very appealing, but it wasn't until 1981, when Björn and Benny met with Tim Rice, that it was to come to fruition, and the work on Chess started. As well as being involved in the creation of the music, Björn, being a lyric writer himself, has assisted Tim with the odd word. Björn has two children, Linda and Christian, with Agnetha Faeltskog. He now lives in Henley-on-Thames, a little town in the southeast of England, is married to Lena and has two children with her, Emma and Anna.
Tim Rice was born in Buckinghamshire in 1944. After an unsuccessful attempt at a legal career in the mid-sixties, he proceeded to increase the incomes of several lawyers over the next two decades as a result of his decision to enter the entertainment business. He met Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1965 with whom he has written four musicals. The first, The Likes Of Us, was never performed, but the following three shows, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, turned out to be three of the most popular British musicals written since the Second World War, both on stage and on record, worldwide. He has written two other musicals, Blondel, with Stephen Oliver, in 1983, and Chess. Tim is a regular broadcaster in the U.K., and has hosted his own series on both radio and television. He is founder and director, together with Colin Webb and Michael Parkinson, of Pavilion Books, one of Britain's most prominent new publishing houses. He is co-author of the bibles of the British Music Industry, the Guinness Books of Hit Singles and Albums, with his brother Jo, Paul Gambaccini and Mike Read.
Richard Nelson is the author of Principia Scriptorae, which was presented last year by the Royal Shakespeare Company in London and the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York, and Between East and West, which was produced this year at the Hampstead Theatre in London. Other plays, which include The Vienna Notes, Rip Van Winkle or The Works, An American Comedy and The Return of Pinocchio have been presented by many theatres around the country. Nelson's adaptations and translations (including The Suicide, Three Sisters, The Marriage of Figaro and Don Juan) have been seen at such regional theatres as The Guthrie, The Goodman, Arena Stage and on Broadway. A former Literary Manager of David Jones' BAM Theatre Company in Brooklyn, dramaturg of the Guthrie Theatre and associate director of the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Nelson is the recipient of a 1987 Time Out Award, two Obie Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the 1986 ABC Playwriting Award, two Rockefeller Grants for playwriting and two National Endowment for the Arts writing fellowships, including one of the first two-year grants given. A new play, Sensibility and Sense, opens in London next fall.
(Note: All biographies from the original Chess program.)