Reijo Pajamo: Sortavala. Laatokan laulava kaupunki. Joensuu 1985.
Olavi Nyberg (1901-1962), son of the bank manager Albert Nyberg, was a famous song artist and opera singer from Sortavala. When he was a child, Olavi would often accompany his father to concerts, which sparked a lifelong passion for music in him. After finishing his studies at the Sortavala Lyceum, Olavi traveled to Helsinki to study at the local music academy under Oiva Soini and William Beck. From Helsinki his journey continued to Milan, Italy. There he continued his studies and attended performances of several famous artists.
Nyberg’s career debut in Sortavala happened in 1923. While his performance was somewhat criticized, his potential was also seen as significant, especially when it came to operatic singing. Olavi Nyberg went on to create a career as not only a singer but also as a teacher and writer. Starting from 1926 he worked as a singing teacher at the Viipuri Music Academy. He also gained fame with his play “Kuka on korkein”, which debuted in Sortavala during Hilda Pihlajamäki’s 45-artist anniversary in 1932. Later Nyberg mostly worked as a singing teacher in Finland and abroad. PHOTO: Olavi Nyberg, 19-years old, 1920. Private collection.