Prizes and awards

During her outstanding singing career Birgit Nilsson received many awards and medals of distinction demonstrating how appreciated and significant her work was for classical music all over the world.


1999. Private photo.

These are some of the awards Birgit Nilsson received during and after her career: 1954 – Court Singer, Stockholm, Sweden. 1958 – Teatro Liceos Gold Medal, Barcelona, Spain. 1960 – Royal medal ”Litteris et Artibus”. 1960 – Honorary fellow of the Royal College of Music, Sweden. 1966 – Sonnings Music Prize, Denmark. 1967 – Gold medal for the “Advancement of the Art of Music”, Royal College of Music, Sweden. 1968 – Austrian Court Singer (Kammersängerin). 1968 – Honorary member (Ehrenmitglied) of the Vienna State Opera. 1968 – Knight of the Order of Vasa, Class 1, Sweden. 1970 – Honorary doctorate of Merrimack College, Andover, Mass. USA. 1970 – Honorary fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, London. 1970 – Bavarian Court Singer, Munich. 1972 – The Royal Medal ”Ingenio et Arti”, Denmark. 1974 – Commander of the Order of Vasa, Class 1, Sweden. 1975 – Commander of the Order of St. Olav, Class 1, Norway. 1978 – The Royal Theater’s Gold medal, Sweden. 1981 – Order of ”Illis Quorum”, Size 18 with Chain, Sweden. 1982 – Honorary doctorate of the Manhattan School of Music, New York. 1982 – Honorary doctorate of the Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA. 1982 – Award ”Swedish-American of the Year”, New York. 1987 - Culture prize from the municipality of Båstad. Ceramic bowl, made by Gustav and Ulla Kraitz. 1988 – Distinguished Service Cross, First Class, Niedersachsen, Germany. 1991 – Commander of Arts and Letters, France. 1991 – Birgit receives a medal in memory of choir leader Wilhelm Pitz, founder of the Bayreuth choir in Germany. At the ceremony in Bayreuth, Peter Lehmann gave a speech about ”the natural wonder from Scania.” 1993 – Silver medal for 25 years as a guest performing artist, Royal Opera House, London. 1994 – Award from the American-Swedish Foundation, New York. 1997 – Honorary doctorate, Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Finland. 1998 – Awarded the title of Professor, Sweden. 1999 – Honorary fellow of the Vienna Philharmonic, Austria. 2000 – Member nr 1 in the honorary faculty at the Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden. 2005 – The cultural prize of the Province of Scania, Sweden.