|Year of Birth:||1946|
|Year of Death:||2008|
Inga Nielsen (2 June 1946 – 10 February 2008) was a Danish soprano who had an active international opera career from 1971 to 2006. A child prodigy, Nielsen performed on American radio during the 1950s, beginning at the age of six, and also released some commercial recordings of Danish folk songs and Christmas carols as a child. She began her opera career performing parts in the lyric soprano repertory and then became an admired singer of dramatic soprano roles, beginning in the late 1980s. She was a particularly renowned interpreter of the roles of Konstanze in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail and the title role in Richard Strauss's Salome. She excelled in portraying some of the more rarely heard and demanding dramatic soprano roles such as the woman in Arnold Schoenberg's Erwartung, Ursula in Mathis der Maler and Jenny in Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.
Nielsen was born in Holbæk, Denmark to a Danish father and an Austrian mother. Her father was a professor of languages and a skilled amateur pianist. At the age of three Nielsen moved with her family to the state of Iowa in the United States. At a very early age Nielsen displayed a prodigious musical talent and began honing her skills performing Danish songs in her father's classes at the age of four. Nielsen stated in a 2002 interview that, "My father toured as an educationalist. He taught about Denmark. I'd come on in a Danish folk dress and sing Danish songs in Danish classes." By the time she was six years old she was singing on the radio and a number of childhood recordings from as early as 1952 exist with Nielsen singing folk songs accompanied by her father. Her first full album recording was made at the age of nine with Columbia Records (recently reissued on Chandos) and consisted of Danish folksongs and Christmas carols.