Thursday, March 17, 2011

Maestro Riccardo Muti to receive the 2011 Birgit Nilsson Prize

Maestro Muti at work.
Italian conductor Riccardo Muti will receive what has been called classical music's "Nobel Prize" - the 2011 Birgit Nilsson Prize.

The 69-year-old maestro, who has been in the news lately due to some unfortunate health issues, is music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and has been the conductor of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, Philadelphia Orchestra and Teatro alla Scala in Milan.

The jury who adjudicates the nominations said that Muti "is recognized for his extraordinary contributions in opera and concert, as well as his enormous influence in the music world both on and off the stage."

"I was deeply touched by the jury's accolade," Muti says, "all the more so given my profound admiration for this unique and extraordinary artist, both as an incomparable musician and a great interpreter".

Soprano Birgit Nilsson
The Birgit Nilsson Prize is only given out every two or three years for outstanding achievements to a currently active singer or conductor. This year's prize is only the second time the prize has been awarded. In 2009, it went to Placido Domingo, whom Nilsson had hand-picked herself for the award.

Maestro Riccardo Muti will receive his award and it's $1 million purse at an October 13 ceremony attended by Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia.

Congratulations, Maestro.

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