The $1 million Birgit Nilsson award is given to an eminent musician, who usually donates it to a worthy cause.
The Vienna Philharmonic will receive the prize in Stockholm tonight.
It will donate the prize to its own archives – a resource it has used astutely for seven decades to conceal its activities in the Third Reich.
Andreas Grossbauer, the VPO President 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.
‘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.’
The Vienna Philharmonic gives masterclasses in facing both ways.