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.

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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

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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 Nilsson 100 – An Homage This epic book is an homage in appreciation of countless glorious performances. Her career lasted almost forty years. For some twenty-five years — from the late Fifties to the early Eighties — she was the dominant force in the dramatic / heroic soprano repertoire and the undisputed “Queen of Wagnerians” of her generation, one of the all time greats in the history of opera. But she was by no means limited to Wagner. Her Isolde and Brünnhilde together with Salome, Elektra, Dyer’s Wife and Turandot were often collectively referred to as the “Nilsson repertoire”. Editor Rutbert Reisch for the Birgit Nilsson Foundation Texts Gabriel Bacquier, Peter Blaha, Rupert Christiansen, Plácido Domingo, Jens Malte Fischer, Mirella Freni, Richard Gaddes, Elvio Giudici, Clemens Hellsberg, Marilyn Horne, Speight Jenkins, Stefan Johansson, Brian Large, James Levine, Christa Ludwig, J. F. Mastroianni, Martha Mödl, John Mordler, Riccardo Muti, Otto Schenk, Valerie Solti, Nina Stemme, Paul Thomason, Sir John Tooley, Barry Tucker, Astrid Varnay, Edgar Vincent, Eva Wagner-Pasquier, Zachary Woolfe The book is available in English at the Birgit Nilsson Museum. Birgit Nilsson – i ord och bild: ”Värp först och kackla sen” by Mattias Enn In this book Mattias Enn and Anders Svernsjö, illustrator, have described special moments in Birgit Nilsson’s life. The contents of the book are Birgit Nilsson’s life, childhood, musical education, debut and great career, taking her all around the world. It presents stories and anecdotes about her private life spiced with recipes from Birgit Nilsson’s cookery book. The preface was written by Concert pianist Lars Roos, for several years the accompanist to Birgit Nilsson. As a 13-year-old boy Mattias Enn, now entertainer and singer, met Birgit Nilsson for a singing lesson arranged by Swedish Television. The meeting resulted in 20 years of open-hearted correspondence which was kept up till Birgit Nilsson passed away. Examples of their correspondence were published in the book. The book is available in Swedish at the Birgit Nilsson Museum. Birgit Nilsson: Från Västra Karup till Metropolitan by Elisabeth Meyer-Topsøe This is the first biography in Swedish. It is a book about a hard-working opera singer, very personally written by a close friend, protégé and colleague. The author describes new aspects of Birgit Nilsson’s artistry and personality. It is partly a view of a great artist who remained humble and friendly all her life. The book, illustrated with unique, previously unpublished pictures, comes with some exclusive words of encouragement by Conductor Zubin Metha. The book was published in cooperation with the Birgit Nilsson Museum. The book is available in Swedish at the Birgit Nilsson Museum.