Riccardo Muti receives million-dollar Nilsson Prize

Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 3:30 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Riccardo Muti has received the $1 million Birgit Nilsson Prize, which is awarded every 2-3 years to a singer or opera conductor.

In a statement released by the Birgit Nilsson Foundation in Stockholm, Maestro Muti was cited for “his extraordinary contributions in opera and concert, as well as his enormous influence in the music world both on and off the stage.”

The foundation was created by the celebrated Swedish soprano, for whom it is named. Foundation president Rutbert Reisch stated, “Maestro Riccardo Muti personifies and exemplifies all of the qualities that were so important to Birgit Nilsson: extraordinary work, dedication and passion for music over many decades.

In a released statement Muti said, “When I heard that the Birgit Nilsson Foundation had chosen me for this distinguished award, I was deeply touched by the jury’s accolade, all the more so given my profound admiration for this unique and extraordinary artist, both as an incomparable musician and as a great interpreter.”

The prize for 2011 will be awarded to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director at the Royal Opera in Stockholm on October 13 in the presence of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia.

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