Gosta Kjellertz


En Minnesbok, Stockholm Conservatory, Jussi Bjorling


In autumn 1928 I met the then head of the Stockholm Conservatory, Professor Bror Beckman, in a corridor. The auditions for entrance to the solo singing class were in progress, and he urged me to listen to a young tenor by the name of Jussi Bjorling. I sought out the young man, who was a year older than I, and for one of his audition pieces he sang the Act 3 aria from Tosca to my piano accompaniment. I was immediately captivated by the singer's incredible brilliance in all registers, but, as I was young and believed myself to be something between Paganini and Battistini (I was also taking violin classes), I did not wish to show how impressed I was and said, somewhat condescendingly: 'That's a lovely voice there. You're sure to be accepted as an aspirant". Well, Jussi, thank goodness, was endowed with a great sense of humour, and we have both laughed many times over that first meeting. On that September day in 1928 a friendship began which lasted throughout the years.

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