In a powerful impulse of national pride, H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf has become the official patron of the Jussi Björling centennial celebrations. The centennial committee has also gathered in a tremendous financial contribution from Swedish real estate magnate Stefan Sundh, (coincidentally, Bengt Krantz’s cousin), and a sizeable award from Barbro Osher’s Pro Suecia Foundation. There were also two smaller private donations.
Among the many activities below which are made possible by these donations, the Scandinavian Sällskapet has also made a very large and helpful donation to the JBS-USA CD project (as has the British Society). Here is the roster of memorial and commemorative activities as of this writing:
January 13 (11:00). Vienna, Opera House, Pausensaal. Jussi Björling exhibition opened by Lars Björling (exhibition to remain for six weeks).
January 13 (19:00). Vienna, Großer Festsaal der Industriellen Vereinigung. Jussi Björling memorial gala including tenors Piotr Beczala and Lars Björling. Presentation: Rudolf Wallner. Reception for invited guests at the Swedish ambassador’s residence after the gala.
February 1 (11:00). Borlänge, Maximteatern. Preview ofTorbjörn Lindqvist’s film “Jussi i våra hjärtan (Jussi in Our Hearts)”.
February 1 or 3. Israeli radio. Jussi Björling memorial program by Mati Zeiti-Elboim.
February 2. Swedish digital cinemas and local cinemas in Dalarna. Première for Torbjörn Lindqvist’s film “Jussi i våra hjärtan (Jussi in Our Hearts)”.
February 5 (15:00). Borlänge, Missionskyrkan (Mission Church).
Scandinavian Jussi Björling Society annual meeting. Jussi Björling memorial concert by Mats Carlsson, tenor. Release of Naxos 11-CD Jussi Björling box and Bluebell 3-CD issue of his complete Gröna Lund recordings.
February 5. Köping, IOGT-NTO-huset (IOGT-NTO House). “Till minnet av Jussi Björling” (In memory of Jussi Björling)”, presentation by Bertil Bengtsson and Yrsa Stenius.
February 5 (17:00). London (UK), Swedish Church, £20 entry. Jussi Björling memorial concert by Raymond Björling (ten, Jussi’s grandson). Contact www.swedishchurch.org or Robert Manderson 01480860902
February 5. Cantanzaro (Italy). Special meeting by Amici dell’Opera Lirica “Jussi Björling”
February 5. Montreal (Canada). Jussi Björling memorial concert by Mario Tedeschi.
February 6. Göteborg, Konserthuset (Concert Hall), Stenhammar Auditorium. “En hyllning till Jussi Björling (A Tribute to JB)”, presentation by Bertil Bengtsson with song by Mats Carlsson (ten).
February 23. Stockholm, Konserthuset (Concert Hall). Jussi Björling memorial concert by Bryn Terfel (bar).
May 6. Borlänge, Forum Kvarnsveden. “Jakten på Jussi” (The Hunt for Jussi). Public performance of Forssaklack School’s musical about Jussi Björling
May 14. Borlänge, Hagaskolan (Haga School). Vårfestival (Spring Festival), “in memory of Jussi”, with local orchestra, choirs and four soloists (incl. Gwyn Hughes Jones (ten), & Carolina Bengtsdotter Ljung (alto).
June 11–August 18. Borlänge, Kommunbiblioteket (Public Library). Jussi Björling memorial exhibition.
June 22-26. St. Peter (MN, USA), Gustavus Adolphus College. Conference with Jussi Björling Society-USA, featuring presentations by Sherrill Milnes, Stephen Hastings, Seth Winner, Dan Shea, Jacob Forsell, Andrew Farkas, Harald Henrysson, Richard Copeman, Paul Galbraith. Cocktail reception at Anders Björling’s home.
June 24. Concert including Royal Court Singer Ingrid Tobiasson (mezzo) and Bengt Krantz (bar).
June 26. Gala dinner.
June 28–July 2. Borlänge, ”Peace & Love” festival. A lecture about Jussi Björling and a cross-over concert with a tenor. Details not yet known.
July 9. Stora Tuna kyrka. Jussi Björling memorial concert with soloists from the Opera på Skärets Carmen production.
July 11-12. Voxna kyrka (Voxna Church). “Jussi days” concert including Tyler Duncan (bar), & Christer Bladin (ten).
July 29. Kopparberg, Opera på Skäret. Jussi Björling celebration by three international tenors.
August 13. Stockholm, Skansen, Solliden. Jussi Björling memorial concert including Gwyn Hughes Jones (ten). Jussi presentation by Bertil Bengtsson.
September 2. Stockholm, Operan (Royal Opera House). Jussi Björling memorial concert.
September 3-4. Stockholm. Jussi Björling conference (in English).
September 5-6. Borlänge. Jussi Björling conference continues (in Swedish and English).
September 10. Strömsbruk, Strömshall. “Jussifest” concert with Ingrid Tobiasson (mezzo), Nils Olsson (ten) & Bengt Krantz (bar).
September 11. Strömsbruk. “Jussifest” lecture by Yrsa Stenius.
September 26. Zürich (Switzerland), ZKO-Haus. Jussi Björling memorial concert with Malin Hartelius (sop), Mats Carlsson (ten) & Bengt Krantz (bar). Introductory Jussi Björling presentation (in German) by Harald Henrysson. Host: Stefan Olmårs.
November 18. Stora Tuna kyrka (Stora Tuna Church). Jussi Björling memorial concert with soloists and the Dalarna Sinfonietta.