The legendary Swedish dramatic soprano Birgit Nilsson established a foundation for a prize to be awarded for outstanding achievement in opera and concert.

Birgit Nilsson

News & Press

Birgit Nilsson Foundation receives Special Achievement Award at Gramophone Awards for centenary celebration

Last night the world’s leading classical music magazine Gramophone awarded the Birgit Nilsson Foundationwith a Special Achievement Award; an award given to an organisation that has supported the legacy of a great artist with notable imagination and loyalty.

Gramophone states in their communication around the Special Achievement Award:

“In Birgit Nilsson’s centennial year, the Foundation has not only beautifully celebrated her extraordinary talent and artistry but is now also responsible for introducing Nilsson to a generation who were never able to experience her live.”

We are deeply honoured by the recognition Gramophone has shown the Birgit Nilsson Foundation and extend our warmest congratulations to the former president Rutbert Reisch. From the Foundation’s new Swedish platform, we gladly take on the responsibility to introduce the legacy of Birgit Nilsson for generations to come, says Susanne Rydén, chairman of Birgit Nilsson Foundation.

For more information, please read the Gramophone report:

Please click here for more information about the CD-collection “Birgit Nilsson – The Great Live Recordings”, the books (autobiography “La Nilsson – My Life in Opera” and “Birgit Nilsson 100 – An Homage”) and the documentary DVD: “Birgit Nilsson – A League of Her Own”.


Rutbert Reisch travelled to Switzerland on 10 May to receive the International Classical Music Award (ICMA) for Best Historical Recording of the Year, which was awarded to Birgit Nilsson: The Great Live Recordings at a ceremony in Lucerne’s KKL Concert Hall. The 31 CD live box set, which was curated by the Birgit Nilsson Foundation to celebrate the 100th anniversary in 2018, was released as a limited edition on Sony and sold out within months. On presenting the award, the ICMA Jury commented “For those who never saw her on stage, this box set is the closest we come to experiencing such a miracle, and the best possible tribute to one of the great sopranos of the 20th century.” Read ICMA’s interview with Rutbert Reisch about Birgit Nilsson and her extraordinary legacy:

The Great Performance team at WNET broadcast the Birgit Nilsson documentary: A League of Her Own

The Great Performances team at WNET will broadcasting the Birgit Nilsson documentary: A League of Her Own – premiering Friday, March 22 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) This illuminating documentary about Birgit Nilsson’s life in the arts features rare television and archival footage highlighting her remarkable talents, and features interviews with friends and fellow opera luminaries, including Plácido Domingo, Marilyn Horne, Nina Stemme, Jonas Kaufmann and many others.

Birgit Nilsson: A League of Her Own social media toolkit

Embeddable trailer with more info

Media only screener (login/registration required)

Press kit

Nina Stemme, Lyric’s high-powered Elektra, recalls her cosmic trek from the world of Mimi

Interview: Superstar soprano, winner of the Birgit Nilsson Prize, says an early competition she lost proved to be an unexpected gift. By Dennis Polkow
By this point in soprano Nina Stemme’s operatic journey, the high-intensity role of Richard Strauss’ “Elektra” has emerged as a signature piece. Indeed, the Swedish singer and reigning Wagnerian soprano, who currently performs the distraught and vengeful Elektra in her debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, all but owns the part. She is the foremost Elektra in the world today, and she embraces the staggeringly difficult role as “the greatest joy” to sing.
Read more »

ICMA International Classical Music Award 2019: “Birgit Nilsson – The Great Live Recordings” winner in the Historical Recording category

Birgit Nilsson – The Great Live Recordings / Sony Classical 88985392322
The director Otto Schenk once said that « Birgit Nilsson’s miracle has to be experienced in the theater. » For those who never saw her on a stage, this box is the closest we come to experiencing such a miracle, and the best possible tribute to one of the great sopranos of the 20th century (ICMA).


Birgit Nilsson 100


For the latest on the Birgit Nilsson Prize, please sign up for our newsletter:

[gravityform id="1" name="Newsletter" title="false" description="false" ajax="true"] ×