Jussi Bjorling Music Scholarship


Gustavus Adolphus College recognizes the importance of music as an integral element in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. The music faculty prepares majors for advanced studies and for careers as professional musicians and educators, and engages non-majors in the study and performance of music. The Jussi Björling Music Scholarship rewards musical accomplishment and potential for continued growth as a musician.


Named for the great Swedish opera singer, The Jussi Björling Music Scholarship honors his legacy as a prominent musician. Touring the United States in 1920 with his father and brothers, the nine-year-old Björling presented a recital at Gustavus Adolphus College. After returning to the United States in 1937, Björling made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1938 and sang as the leading tenor for the prestigious opera house for the next two decades. The Chicago Tribune wrote, “He would have been extraordinary in any age, for topnotch tenors are scarce articles. But in our age, he verges on the fabulous.” Björling was awarded an honorary doctorate by Gustavus, and in 1970 the Jussi Björling Recital Hall was dedicated on campus.


Recipients are awarded scholarships ranging from $2,000-$8,000 annually. In addition, winners receive a renewable $1,000 Gustavus Music Award to pay for private lesson study at Gustavus. Successful Björling Scholarship applicants typically have had extensive performance experience in solo and ensemble settings, pursue individual lesson study, and have been recognized as leaders in their school music program. This scholarship recognizes the dedication, discipline, and commitment needed to attain a level of excellence as a performer.


Candidates must submit an application for admission to Gustavus Adolphus College and complete the Björling Scholarship application. (Students need not be music majors to qualify for these awards.) Renewal is by audition and requires continued participation in an appropriate ensemble and private music lessons each semester in residence. Scholarship awards will be made on an ongoing basis and awardees will be invited to the Jussi Björling Scholarship reception on March 1, 2014, as part of Gustavus’s Scholarship Day. **Please note: You may apply for the Jussi Björling Music Scholarship in multiple performance areas—for example, you may send one application for voice and another application for piano. Separate application forms, audition recordings, recommendation letters, and résumés must be completed for each performance area.**

The Gustavus Department of Music, with its thirty-eight full and affiliate faculty members, provides a musical education of recognized excellence. Nearly fourty-percent of the students at Gustavus participate in some form of music ranging from individual instruction to participation in any number of the thirty-two performing organizations. The Department awards the Bachelor of Arts in Music. Students perform and study in facilities that include the 475-seat Jussi Björling Recital Hall, Christ Chapel, a fully computerized music lab, class and rehearsal rooms, thirty private practice rooms, and the Lund Music Library.