Vienna Philharmonic wins $1 million Birgit Nilsson Prize

Posted on: April 9, 2014

In an Associated Press story picked up on Wednesday (4/9) by numerous media outlets, George Jahn reports, “The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra added a prestigious feather to its cap Wednesday, with the Birgit Nilsson Foundation picking it as this year’s winner of its $1-million prize named after the late Swedish soprano. It is the first time an orchestra has been chosen since the prize was launched in 2009. Then, the choice fell on opera star Placido Domingo, who was personally chosen by Nilsson and honored three years after her death. Conductor Riccardo Muti was picked three years later. Orchestra President Clemens Hellsberg told The Associated Press that he was honored by the choice, describing the famed Swedish diva as having a huge ‘impact on my life’ as a violinist.… While declining to say when he was informed of the pick, Hellsberg described it as ‘a big surprise,’ because initial discussion on who should be chosen focused on individuals. Hellsberg, who is on the five-member jury that decides on winners, withdrew from the judging once it became clear that an orchestra would be chosen this year.”

Posted April 9, 2014