The award is the largest of its kind in the field of classical music


The Vienna Philharmonic, this year’s recipient of the $1m Birgit Nilsson Prize, has announced plans to invest the award in the digitisation of its Historical Archives. The collection charts the orchestra’s history since its inception in 1842 and currently resides in the Haus der Musik in Vienna – a location which is rapidly becoming too small.

‘The Vienna Philharmonic believes that you ensure your future by remembering and documenting your past,’ said orchestra president Andreas Grossbauer. Given the historic significance of the Vienna Philharmonic in music history, and the historic significance of Birgit Nilsson herself, the Vienna Philharmonic has unanimously voted to use the entire $1m Birgit Nilsson Prize to expand its Historical Archives and to make them more easily accessible.’

The Birgit Nilsson Prize, named after the famous Swedish dramatic soprano, is awarded approximately every three years for outstanding achievements and major contributions to the fields of opera or concert by an active figure or ensemble. This is the third time the prize has been awarded, following awards for Plácido Domingo in 2009 and for Riccardo Muti in 2011.

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