Jussi Björling Society - USA

 

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Harald Henrysson

Harald Henrysson, curator of the Jussi Björling Museum in Borlänge, Sweden, and author of A Jussi Björling Phonography, was born on July 16, 1942. Harald grew up in Säter (where he still resides in the family home), a town that is a short distance from Borlänge. He was in his teens when his mother gave him his first two LPs- both of Jussi- along with a phonograph.

Beginning in 1962, Mr. Henrysson attended the University of Stockholm and Uppsala University where he studied a wide variety of subjects ranging from Russian to plant taxonomy. In 1965 he was awarded a Master of Science degree.

From 1967-72, Mr. Henrysson taught botany; in 1976 he was graduated from the College of Library Science. From 1974-75 he was employed by the Ministry of Education, Stockholm. In 1975 he accepted a position with the Swedish Broadcasting Company, Stockholm, (two different sound archives) that would eventually lead to his writing A Jussi Björling Phonography. With the knowledge gained at these two archives- and the access they provided not only to recordings but also to literature (especially the excellent Radio Music Library) and personal contacts- Mr. Henrysson had the opportunity to accomplish the research that ultimately made the Phonography possible and so comprehensive.

It was during the period 1975-85 (while at the Record Music Library) that he was assigned the task of putting all of Jussi's records into a new computerized system. From 1985-1994, he worked at the Program Archives, which stores the tape copies of the company's own recordings, and here he studied in detail all that was preserved of Jussi from his many Swedish broadcasts. He also had the opportunity to make some new discoveries and to take part in some radio programs about Jussi.

In 1993 he published A Jussi Björling Phonography, 2nd edition (the first edition having been published in 1984, with J.W. Porter). In 1994 he wrote the foreword for a reprint of Med bagaget i strupen by Jussi Björling, and in 1996 he compiled the JB Chronology for Jussi by Anna Lisa Björling and Andrew Farkas. Harald notes that he heard and saw Jussi in only one performance, at Gröna Lund on August 3, 1950, with Mrs. Björling.

Harald has taken part in the production of many record issues on SR, Swedish Society, EMI, and Bluebell labels authoring the text for 5 LP and 15 CD issues. In 1989 he helped to found the Scandinavian Jussi Björling Society and served as its chairman from 1989-1994. In 1991 he arranged a Jussi Björling Memorial Exhibition at the Folkets Hus in Borlänge, an important step in the eventual establishment of a permanent museum. In 1999 he had the distinction of being named an Honorary Member of the Scandinavian Society. He also serves on the Advisory Board of The Jussi Björling Society-USA.