Read more about Birgit Nilsson

Birgit Nilsson successfully combined two extremes during her career. She became a successful star on the international scene, while keeping her feet firmly on the ground, making her well-beloved by the people who knew her.



Birgit at the National Library of Sweden

At the National Library of Sweden (also known as "KB"), located in Stockholm, one can find an extensive knowledge base about Birgit Nilsson, with material ranging from 1935 to approximately 2005, when she passed away. As much as 13 shelf meters and 163 volumes in addition to 250 tapes with recorded material give the interested public an unequaled source of written, documented and recorded material by and about Birgit Nilsson. On the blog Extranea - utländsk litteratur på KB (Extranea - foreign litterature at KB) you can read more about the archives and Birgit Nilsson (only available in Swedish).

Books by and about Birgit Nilsson

Birgit Nilsson wrote two books about her life. In My Memoirs in Pictures from 1977, she tells about her career based on personally-chosen photographs. La Nilsson from 1995 is her own description of her life, full of personal stories, anecdotes and memories. Through quotations from these books, Birgit is able to speak for herself on this website. La Nilsson Birgit Nilsson's autobiography La Nilsson is for sale in English in the Museum shop. The Swedish edition of Birgit's memoirs is available as an audio book in the Museum shop. It consists of 11 CDs, narrated in Swedish by Birgit herself. Unfortunately, the Swedish book edition of her memoirs is not available, since the book is no longer possible to print. For the autobiography, she received a Humour award in 1996. Published by: Bonnier Audio/University Press of New England, Hanover and London. Birgit i Bjäre The book Birgit i Bjäre is about Birgit Nilsson’s childhood and involvement in her home town. It was published in 2010, written by Kalle Eriksson who worked together with Birgit Nilsson for many years arranging concerts for the Local Historical Society. The book is available in Swedish at the Birgit Nilsson Museum. Birgit’s singing technique The soprano Elisabeth Meyer-Topsøe met Birgit Nilsson for the first time in 1977. Starting in 1987, Meyer-Topsøe began taking singing lessons from Birgit. Almost all of these sessions were recorded, resulting in over 60 hours of recordings with Birgit Nilsson and Elisabeth Meyer-Topsøe. The experiences from the meetings with Birgit Nilsson laid the foundation for Elisabeth Meyer-Topsøe's thesis A Viable Vocal Technique. Birgit Nilsson’s Thoughts on a Viable Vocal Technique. The thesis is based on thirteen principles that were Birgit’s ”golden rules” for a proper singing technique. The book also contains two CDs with excerpts from the recordings of the classes with Birgit Nilsson. Elisabeth Meyer-Topsøe has studied at the Royal Opera School in Stockholm, 1978-81. She also has a Masters in Music Education from the Royal Danish Music Conservatory in 2006. Today she is a Professor at the Conservatory in Tronheim, and teaches master classes in Stockholm, Reykjavik, Odsherred, and Tromsø, to mention a few. The Master thesis is available in our Museum shop, in English and in Danish.