Born in Denmark, Inga Nielsen studied in Vienna, Stuttgart and Budapest. She began her career at opera houses in Germany and Switzerland and was later engaged by the Opera in Frankfurt.
She now appears at leading opera houses throughout the world, including the Vienna State Opera, La Scala, Milan and Covent Garden and has sung at the festivals in Bayreuth, Salzburg, Vienna, Munich, Aix-en-Provence and Edinburgh. Inga Nielsen often appears as a concert soloist and on radio and television and has made numerous recordings.
In 1994 she enjoyed formidable success as Salome in Leipzig, and as the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier at the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen. Other notable successes have included the rôle of the Empress in Die Frau ohne Schatten at La Scala, Milan, with Sinopoli and a number of Wagnerian rôles. In 1992 Inga Nielsen was honoured by Queen Margarethe of Denmark with the Order of the Dannebrog.