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Prof. Reinhard Öhlberger
The ceremonial presentation of the Birgit Nilsson Prize to the Vienna Philharmonic took place on October 8, 2014, in the Konserthuset in Stockholm, at the same time in which the announcement of the year's Nobel Prize recipients took place, causing additional international attention to be focused on this city.
The ceremony, which followed Swedish protocol, opened with the King and Queen and their honored guests entering the hall to deafening drum rolls. Following the national anthem of Sweden, Konserthuset Director Stefan Forsberg and Rutbert Reisch, Director of the Birgit Nilsson Foundation gave speeches. The Swedish-American television journalist Pia Lindström, the daughter of Ingrid Bergman, moderated the program. Riccardo Muti delighted the audience with his witty style of reflection before "Les Préludes" by Franz Liszt was heard under his baton. Following this, His Royal Highness Carl XVI Gustav solemnly presented the prize in the form of a bronze statue of Birgit Nilsson to orchestra chairman, Andreas Großbauer and former chairman, Prof. Dr. Clemens Hellsberg, who both then in turn gave acceptance addresses. The festival program, by the way, specifically describes the royal couple as being "great admirers of the Vienna Philharmonic". After a short film clip taken from the second act of "Tristan und Isolde", the Vienna Philharmonic performed "Isoldes Liebestod" in an orchestral arrangement, once again under the baton of Riccardo Muti.