Swedish opera singer Jussi Björling (1911-1960) was one of the most beloved tenors of the twentieth century. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1938 and went on to become one of the principal singers there during the 1940s and 1950s. He sang many major tenor roles in operas in the French and Italian repertoire, including Il trovatore, Rigoletto, Aida, Pagliacci, Cavalleria rusticana, La bohème, Madama Butterfly and Manon Lescaut.
Gustavus Adolphus College has a strong connection with Jussi Björling. At the age of nine Jussi Björling presented a recital here. The prestigious Jussi Björling Music Scholarship was named in his honor, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Gustavus and in 1970 Jussi Björling Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building was dedicated. Three generations of Björlings are alumni of Gustavus. His son Anders Björling is also a retired comptroller of the College.
The Library recognizes Jussi Björling’s importance to the College and we would like to highlight a collection we have of over 100 CDs and LPs with performances by Jussi Björling, which have recently been digitized and are easily accessible to anyone on campus. In our catalog search “All Fields” for Jussi Bjorling and click on the link to listen.