A Tribute to Jussi Björling
Call to get on the waitlist!
- $20 Assigned Rows 3-5
- $15 General Admission
- $10 Student
- Mats Carlsson, tenor
- Love Derwinger, piano
- Bertil Bengtsson, speaker
Jussi Björling (1911-1960) possessed arguably the greatest operatic voice of the 20th century. His musical legacy will be commemorated in his centennial year with a thrilling combination of live vocal performances by Mats Carlsson, leading tenor of the Swedish Royal Opera, and carefully selected recordings and images compiled and presented by Björling expert, Bertil Bengtsson. The audience will be taken on a fascinating and moving journey through the life of this incomparable artist. If you have not heard the voice of Björling before, be prepared for a life-changing experience. Do not miss this unique event!
A reception sponsored by the Signe Karlström Fund, SWEA Michigan, Detroit Swedish Foundation, and The Jenny Lind Club will follow the concert.
In recent years Mats Carlsson has established himself as one of the most sought after tenors in Sweden in opera, oratorio, and recital. As the first recipient of the Scandinavian Jussi Björling Society Prize in 2008, he has been praised for his shimmering Nordic timbre and ringing high notes coupled with an Italianate style. His roles at the Swedish Royal Opera include Romeo, the Duke in Rigoletto, Faust, Don Jose, Pinkerton, Ernesto, and Enzo Grimaldo, among others. In recent years, his career has taken him to concert halls in Europe, India, and the United States. He has performed at two conferences of the Jussi Björling Society-USA and was guest soloist with the American Union of Swedish Singers. One reviewer wrote that “Carlsson’s crystal clear diction and perfect blend of light and dark timbre of his voice can compare to Set Svanholm and Fritz Wunderlich was a extra ordinary surprise.” Noted Swedish soprano Kerstin Meyer described him as “one of the most promising tenors in the world.” His seven concert American tour speaks to his great admiration for Jussi Björling. For samples of Mr. Carlsson’s singing, visit his web site at www.matscarlsson.net/en/listen
Love Derwinger is regarded as one of Sweden’s leading pianists. Born in 1966, Derwinger made his debut at 16 as soloist in Liszt ́s Second Piano Concerto. Since then he has given recitals throughout Europe, USA, Canada, Japan, Middle East and South America and has been soloist with the major orchestras in Scandinavia and Europe. Dewinger is also the regular pianist of the world-famous soprano Barbara Hendricks. He has made over 30 recordings on the labels BIS, CPO and others, including his critically acclaimed performances of the original version of the Grieg Piano Concerto and Max Reger Piano Concerto. According to one reviewer, “Love Derwinger is perhaps the most original and interesting pianistic personality of his generation.”
A seasoned lecturer, Bertil Bengtsson is a cofounder of the Scandinavian Jussi Björling Society and a longstanding consultant with the Jussi Björling museum in the singer’s hometown of Borlänge, Sweden. A leading Jussicologist, Bertil has studied and researched in great depth the life and career of Jussi Björling as well as other great singers of the past including Enrico Caruso. Bertil’s international lecture venues include the Smithsonian Institution, Vocal Arts Society and Finlandia Foundation; Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota; Friends of English National Opera, London; The St. Olav, and Kirsten Flagstad Festivals (both in Norway). Bertil has also produced radio programs and articles about Jussi Björling as well as other singers.