”I would have hated to be mediocre”: Nina Stemme on winning the Birgit Nilsson Prize - The Birgit Nilsson Prize

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

”I would have hated to be mediocre”: Nina Stemme on winning the Birgit Nilsson Prize

Bachtrack
Hugo Shirley, 25 Mai 2018
The criteria for the Birgit Nilsson Prizeare nothing if not stringent. The winner, the guidelines stipulate, has to be an artist with a decades-long position at the very top of their profession, as well as an unimpeachable reputation for reliability and putting the composer first. This year, in the 100th anniversary of the great Swedish soprano’s birth, it had already been made known that the $1m prize was to go to a singer again – the previous winners had been Plácido Domingo, Riccardo Muti and the Vienna Philharmonic. Anyone compiling their own mental shortlist of possible candidates will likely have come up with a list that was, if not short, then hardly long.
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