The next Birgit Nilsson Prize will take place in October 2018 – the jubilee year! Updates will follow.

The legendary Swedish dramatic soprano Birgit Nilsson established a foundation for a prize to be awarded for outstanding achievement in opera and concert.

Birgit Nilsson

Award Ceremony 2014

Award Ceremony

The 2014 Birgit Nilsson Prize Award Ceremony


On October 8, 2014, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra received the 2014 Birgit Nilsson Prize at a festive Ceremony in the presence of H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf and H.M. Queen Silvia at the Concert Hall in Stockholm. During the Ceremony the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performed under the direction of 2011 recipient Maestro Riccardo Muti.

The Birgit Nilsson Prize is dedicated to outstanding achievements in the field of opera and concert. Many prominent guests from the music world, culture and politics attended when the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra received the Birgit Nilsson Prize of one million dollars. The musical ensemble was chosen by an international panel of four music experts from the countries where Birgit Nilsson was most active during her career.

The programme

Prof. Rutbert Reisch, President of the Birgit Nilsson Foundation, opened the festivities. After the entrance of Their Majesties, the Royal Anthem was sung by Karl-Magnus Fredriksson.The evening’s mistress of ceremonies Pia Lindström, daughter of Ingrid Bergman, gave the laudatio in honour of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf presented the Birgit Nilsson Prize to the Vienna Philharmonic representatives Andreas Großbauer, President and Clemens Hellsberg, former President of the Vienna Philharmonic. The VPO performed Liszt’s Les Préludes and an orchestral version of Wagner Isolde's Liebestod under the direction of Maestro Riccardo Muti.

The doors opened at 17:00h and the Ceremony started at 18:00h. Following the Ceremony, the entire audience was invited to a cocktail reception at the Concert Hall hosted by the Birgit Nilsson Foundation. For invited guests, a Gala Dinner in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s honour was hosted by the Foundation at the Grand Hotel in the presence of H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf and H.M. Queen Silvia.

The Concert Hall in Stockholm - the venue of the Birgit Nilsson Prize Award Ceremony 2014


The Konserthuset or Concert Hall of Stockholm is the venue of the Birgit Nilsson Prize Award Ceremony 2014. The Concert Hall is an architectural masterpiece in the neoclassical style. It was built especially to house the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Apart from being a venue for world-class concerts, it hosts awards such as the annual Nobel Prize Award Ceremony and the Polar Music Prize.

The concert hall is located in the heart of Stockholm. It was designed by Ivar Tengbom. The architect’s vision was to erect a classical Greek temple to the honor of music facing the market stalls of Hötorget. Building work on the Concert Hall began in 1923 and the Concert Hall has been finished in 1926.

Since its opening, the Concert Hall has been the home of the orchestra originally known as the Stockholm Concert Society, then the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and finally, since the early 1990s, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Stockholm.

The Concert Hall also gives young musicians the opportunity to pursue their career in giving them a place for concerts. In 2003 Stefan Forsberg was appointed Executive and Artistic Director of the Stockholm Concert Hall Foundation and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. His tenure has been extended twice, now lasting until 2021. During summer season the Concert Hall offers many different kinds of exhibitions and guided tours.

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