Swedish soprano Matilda Sterby has been named this year’s Birgit Nilsson Stipendium artist, in an announcement made this morning at the museum in Båstad. Matilda, who recently returned home from Vienna following her Volksoper debut, will receive 250.000 Swedish Crowns (c. 21.500 Euros) and performs her Stipendium recital in Birgit’s “own” Västra Karup church, as part of this year’s Birgit Nilsson Days celebrations.­­­­
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­Matilda Sterby
© Christoph Rothenberger­­­­
­­­­Matilda said: “It’s a dream to receive this Stipendium, because it means so much. First and foremost because it’s linked to Birgit Nilsson’s name – her fantastic artistry and how she managed all the challenges of her career – but also because previous stipendium recipients are singers I’ve long looked up to. And it’s a confirmation that I’m on the right track. The money will also be useful for further development, singing lessons, coaching and travelling to broaden my career horizons.”­­­­
­­­­Matilda Sterby has quickly established herself both at home in Sweden and abroad. After completing her studies at the Stockholm Academy of Opera, she sang Fiordiligi in a 2020 streamed performance of Così fan tutte, followed in 2022 by Marenka in The Bartered Bride, both at the Gothenburg Opera. This season she makes her Malmö Opera debut as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and as Magda, the female lead, in La Rondine at the Volksoper Wien. She has also performed Mimì in La Bohème and Micaëla in Carmen in Karlsruhe and the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro in Hannover and Klagenfurt.­­­­
­­­­Upcoming engagements include Fiordiligi in Malmö and Micäela at Gothenburg Opera, and in 2025 she performs The Countess in The Marriage of Figaro at the Volksoper Vienna, before returning to Gothenburg for performances as Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes.­­­­
­­­­Matilda was the 2022 recipient of the the Schymberg Award and a finalist in the 2024 Royal Swedish Academy of Music’s presitious Soloist Prize.­­­­
­­­­The Birgit Nilsson Stipendium was created in memory of Birgit’s first teacher, Ragnar Blennow, who played an influential role in her early years as an aspiring singer. First presented by Birgit herself in 1973, the Stipendium has supported 47 young Swedish singers over the last 50 years, including artists such as Hillevi Martinpelto, Nina Stemme, Anna Larsson, John Lundgren and Malin Byström.