Biographies

All 'Biographies' are listed here in the order that they were published. We aim to have an assortment of biographies of individuals who are Nordic or have a connection to the Nordics, and who have made an impact on Nordic and/or international society in the modern era. Our long term aim is to focus on those who are little known and to be inclusive. 

Herbert Blomstedt in Leipziger Gewandhaus, December 2015. Photo: Alexander Böhm (CC BY-SA 4.0)

2019.08.02 | Biography, Jenny Rood, Juliette Victor, The arts

Herbert Thorson Blomstedt (b. 1927)

Herbert Blomstedt is a Swedish conductor known for both championing Nordic composers and his well-received interpretations of German and Austrian composers over many decades.

Swedish opera singer Anne Sofie von Otter, portrait from October 2011. Photo: Ewa-Marie Rundquist (CC BY 3.0)

2019.08.02 | Biography, Jenny Rood, Juliette Victor, The arts

Anne Sofie von Otter (b. 1955)

Anne Sofie von Otter is a Swedish mezzo-soprano noted for her versatile voice, her trouser roles in classical and romantic opera as well as her interpretations of oratorios, German Lieder, and Scandinavian songs.

Swedish Photographer Lennart Nilsson, May 21, 2010. Photo: Holger Ellgaard (CC BY-SA 3.0)

2019.08.01 | Biography, Linda Haverty Rugg, The arts

Lennart Nilsson (1922-2017)

Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson won fame with his photographs of the development of human life inside the uterus.

Swedish author Sven Lindqvist interviewed at Akademi-bokhandeln in Stockholm on 10 February 2018. Photo: Frankie Fouganthin (CC BY-SA 4.0)

2019.07.30 | Biography, Linda Haverty Rugg, Literature

Sven Lindqvist (1932-2019)

A wide-ranging and prolific social commentator and provocative essayist, Sven Lindquist focused on questions of environmentalism, colonialism, war, social justice and racism.

Ingmar Berman (1918-2007), Swedish stage and film director; photo taken during the production of Wild Strawberries (1957). Svensk Filmindustri (SF) press photo. Source: Svenska filminstitutet.

2019.07.24 | Biography, Linda Haverty Rugg, The arts

Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007)

Ingmar Bergman was a pre-eminent Swedish film director, theater director, screenwriter, and author. Internationally acclaimed as a cinematic auteur, he was known for his exquisite aesthetics and a focus on intense psychological drama, gender issues, theology, philosophy, and autobiography. He worked with a select group of actors and technicians,…

Scene from the premiere of Karl-Birger Blomdahl's 1959 opera 'Aniara' in Stockholm. Photo: Lennart Olson, Tiofoto (Public domain)

2019.07.19 | Biography, Jenny Rood, Juliette Victor, The arts

Karl-Birger Blomdahl (1916-1968)

Karl-Birger Blomdahl was a Swedish composer and teacher best known for his 1959 prize-winning space opera 'Aniara', his third symphony 'Facetter', his choral work 'I speglarnas sal', as well as other symphonic and chamber pieces.

Swedish opera singer Birgit Nilsson performing on 31 July, 1969. Photo: Svenskt Fotoreportage via IMS Vintage Photos (Public domain)

2019.07.16 | Biography, Jenny Rood, Juliette Victor, The arts

Birgit Nilsson (1918-2005)

Birgit Nilsson was a Swedish soprano who performed in the world’s top opera houses and festivals, noted particularly for her roles in Wagner (especially Isolde in Tristan and Isolde), Puccini (Turandot), and Richard Strauss (Elektra). She is considered perhaps the best Wagnerian soprano of her time.

Swedish conductor Sixten Ehrling, c. 1960. Photographer unknown (Public domain)

2019.07.15 | Biography, Jenny Rood, Juliette Victor, The arts

Evert Sixten Ehrling (1918-2005)

Evert Sixten Ehrling was a Swedish conductor who led opera houses and symphony orchestras in Sweden and the United States. He was particularly noted for his recordings of Nordic composers (especially Berwald, Nielsen and Sibelius), his high standards and his technical precision.

From left: Songwriters Cornelis Vreeswijk, Fred Åkerström and Gösta Cervin at a demonstration against the Vietnam war on Hötorget in Stockholm on 28 August 1965. Photo: Sam Stadener (Public domain)

2019.07.09 | Biography, Jenny Rood, Juliette Victor, The arts

Fred Åkerström (1937-1985)

Fred Åkerström was a Swedish ballad singer best known for his three albums of interpretations of the eighteenth-century poet Carl Michael Bellman.

Dutch-Swedish songwriter Cornelis Vreeswijk portrayed 13 November 1973. Photo: Punt Anefo, Nationaal Archief, the Dutch National Archives, (CC0 1.0)

2019.07.08 | Biography, Jenny Rood, Juliette Victor, The arts

Cornelis Vreeswijk (1937-1987)

Cornelis Vreeswijk was a Dutch-Swedish songwriter, singer, poet and actor known for his influential role in modernizing the Swedish ballad and introducing it to a wider audience through merging tradition with more diverse musical styles.

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