Domingo awarded $1 million Birgit Nilsson prize

Posted on: February 20, 2009

In an Associated Press report published Friday (2/20) on MusicalAmerica.com, Louise Nordstrom writes, “Tenor/conductor/impresario Placido Domingo on Friday won the first $1 million Birgit Nilsson Prize for his ‘unrivaled’ contributions to the world of opera, the award foundation said. The late Swedish soprano picked Domingo as the winner of the inaugural award—billed as the biggest prize in classical music—before her death in 2005. Prize officials said the name had been kept secret for nearly a decade. Nilsson, considered one of the greatest Wagnerian sopranos, sang with Domingo several times, the foundation said. … Domingo has performed in 130 roles and is celebrating his 40th season at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The 68-year-old singer won worldwide acclaim outside the opera scene as a member of The Three Tenors, with Jose Carreras and the late Luciano Pavarotti.” In the late ’90s, Nilsson had informed a confidant of her choice for the foundation’s first award, which she stipulated should be given three years after her death. Subsequent awardees will be chosen by the foundation council every two or three years.