Vienna Philharmonic wins Nilsson prize

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has won the 2014 Birgit Nilsson Prize.

The $1m prize – the largest in the classical music world – will be used to support and expand the orchestra’s historic archive.

Rutbert Reisch, president of the Birgit Nilsson Foundation, said: ‘We are so pleased to be honoring the great Vienna Philharmonic as the first institution to receive the Birgit Nilsson Prize. Birgit Nilsson loved working with this orchestra, and we know that this choice would have pleased her greatly. We are also very happy to have the entire Vienna Philharmonic and Maestro Riccardo Muti, our 2011 Prize Laureate, here with us today.’

The orchestra’s president Andreas Grossbauer, said: ‘The Vienna Philharmonic believes that you ensure your future by remembering and documenting your past. 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 one million dollar Birgit Nilsson Prize to expand its Historic Archive and to make it more easily accessible.’

He added: ‘It has long been a dream of the VPO to have a transparent archive which is more accessible and more readily open to the public, to entice young people to view and study this history of almost two centuries, and to provide an environment conducive to scholarly research. This prize will enable the VPO to establish a permanent home for its vast archive, which has grown appreciably over the past decades. As the VPO moves forward into the next century, its historic context and legacy will now be assured.’