The Real Group

The Real Group was formed in 1984 by five students at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. The original members were eager to explore the artistic world of vocal music with an emphasis on jazz, pop and folk music. The group quickly gained an international audience and has grown to become one of the cornerstones of modern a cappella. Today the legacy of The Real Group is maintained and further developed by worldwide concert tours, recordings, educational mentoring and published scores. The mentorship has evolved over the years and continuously seeks to integrate artistic aspirations with human rights, ecological awareness, global concern and a feministic mindset.

The organization is today owned and managed by Margareta Bengtson, Anders Edenroth, Katarina Henryson and Peder Karlsson.

Margareta Bengtson

Margareta Bengtson grew up in a family of musicians south of Stockholm; her mother taught voice and her father played jazz. As well as singing and learning piano she also started playing the harp, which became her main instrument at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. In 1984 she became a member of The Real Group, bringing her very high vocal range and a spectacular ability to imitate a flugelhorn. In 1997 Margareta was awarded “Best Female Soloist” by the Contemporary A cappella Society of America.

In 2006 Margareta left the Real Group to develop her solo career. She works as a freelance harpist and singer, and her solo jazz CD (“I’m Old-Fashioned”) enjoyed very positive reviews in both Sweden and Japan. In 2009 she recorded a CD (“As We Are”) jointly with Swedish composer and jazz pianist Nils Lindberg, and continues to work in jazz and classical genres with a variety of bands, orchestras and choirs around Europe. In 2009 she also released a CD in Japan (“Where The Midnight Sun Never Sets”) and another in Sweden entitled “En gang i Stockholm”.

Anders Edenroth

Anders Edenroth was born in Stockholm. He started playing piano and singing in choirs at an early age. From ages 10 to 20 studying at Adolf Fredrik’s School of Music in Stockholm he experienced a strong focus on choir singing. Continuing with five years of studies at The Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, he and his fellow-students formed an a cappella quintet – The Real Group. In the two years following their Master’s qualifications, all five group members studied together on a specially-designed postgraduate course resulting in a diploma of the highest standing.

For The Real Group Anders Edenroth has written and published many original songs, and arrangements of well-known standards, constantly exploring the development of new vocal textures and the integration of vocal percussion and rhythmic effects. He has been awarded several grants from The Swedish National Council for Cultural Affairs and Swedish Performing Rights Society (STIM). He has also worked as a keyboard player within the jazz and pop domain and as a writer of television scores and music for commercials. Over the years he has engineered and produced albums for many artists as well as arranging music for other vocal groups, for big bands, symphony orchestras and stage shows. Since 1989 he has been a full-time singer performing with The Real Group in more than 40 countries and has recorded 20 albums, many of which he also produced. Anders is also much appreciated for his many masterclass workshops, both at the two major TRG Festivals, and at venues on their international tours.

Katarina Henryson

Singing has been Katarina’s chosen means of expression ever since her early schooling at Adolf Fredrik’ ́s Music school, through her training at the Stockholm Royal Academy of Music and during the 1990s when she was active as a studio and backing vocalist in the fields of pop and soul. Since 1984, as one of the founding members of The Real Group, Katarina has contributed to the group with her flexible alto voice and distinctive stage presence as well as with numerous compositions. Katarina composes and writes lyrics with jazz and folk music forming the starting point of her music-making. Her vocal style is direct and unaffected and her singing has been described as “soul-madrigal”.

Katarina’s experience as a workshop-leader and mentor for choirs and vocal ensembles is as vast as her artistic career. Since leaving the group her energy is directed towards developing The Real Group Academy.

Link to the Academy

In 2015 BIS/Naxos released the Duo CD “High Low or In-Between” of Katarina together with Svante Henryson, with whom she performs on a regular basis in Sweden and internationally. Their most recent performances were at the Stockholm Jazz Festival and Umeå Chamber music festival where they formed a trio with classical pianist Roland Pöntinen. Another collaboration partner is blues-jazz pianist Niklas Medin. Together with members of Rajaton, Vox North and Zap Mama Katarina is part of the acappella improvisation group “Songs of The Moment Nordic”.

Peder Karlsson

Peder Karlsson studied classical and jazz composition at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm before graduating with a Master’s Degree in vocal group performance as one of the founding members of The Real Group. He was a major force in creating the Real Academy and organizing the first ”Real A Cappella Festival” in 2008, bringing together amateurs and professionals from all over the a cappella world, into a very much-praised atmosphere of non-competitive sharing and mutual learning. Among his many compositions the haunting folk-inspired Gøta has become a favourite at The Real Group concerts, as well as with choirs and vocal groups the world over.

After 26 years of singing with The Real Group, Peder now devotes his substantial energy to spreading inspiration in the world of vocal music; with The Real Group Academy, as a mentor with Perpetuum Jazzile from Slovenia, and through workshops and seminars all over the world. As a solo singer, guitar player and composer, Peder is currently collecting material for his upcoming album.