During the Music Hall concert Saturday, June 1, 2019, Peter Lundberg received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, Missouri.
Peter was one of the first researchers and performers in modern times to travel around the US and document our ragtime history. He has been a featured performer over numerous years at our festival and elsewhere.
On his own initiative in 1963, he ventured from his home in Gothenburg, Sweden to many of the most significant locations related to the music's development. He made important observations, and met contacts along the way, which led to further research, all the while connecting dots that we now take for granted. He was one of the few people at the time to actively reach out to Mrs. Joe Lamb, Rudi Blesh, Eubie Blake, Charles Thompson, Wally Rose, Trebor Tichenor, Max Morath, Bob Darch (who mentored Peter), John Stark's daughter Carrie, and others in his cross-country journeys. His stops also included the WC Handy Music Company Building, (meeting Handy's children), the QRS piano roll company, the Library of Congress, and numerous historically important performance venues.
Following his initial journey, Peter kept up on correspondence, pursuing questions, publicizing his discoveries, and, most importantly, inspiring young American and European players to perform and study ragtime. He has given talks on his travels, and there is always great interest in his work from serious ragtime aficionados.
It should be noted that Peter was doing his work long before the 1970s rediscovery of ragtime in the US, the start-up of regular festivals, and the Internet and email. So his dedication is that much more impressive and worthy. Also, he has contributed to the repertoire of music through his many popular compositions. I feel that Peter Lundberg is an excellent choice for this year's award.
---Courtesy of David Reffkin's Nomination