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Vienna Philharmonic takes home Birgit Nilsson Prize

VIENNA -- The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra added a prestigious feather to its cap Wednesday, with the Birgit Nilsson Foundation picking it as this year's winner of its US$1-million prize named after the late Swedish soprano.

It is the first time an orchestra has been chosen since the prize was launched in 2009. Then, the choice fell on opera star Placido Domingo, who was personally chosen by Nilsson and honored three years after her death. Conductor Riccardo Muti was picked three years later.

Orchestra President Clemens Hellsberg told The Associated Press that he was honored by the choice, describing the famed Swedish diva as having a huge “impact on my life” as a violinist.

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