Riccardo Muti ruffled a few press feathers earlier today when he refused to tell journalists assembled in Stockholm for the Birgit Nilsson Award how he plans to spend the $1m prize money. He said he doesn't yet know, and when he does, he won't be telling the world, because it's a private matter. He dismissed any talk of the money as "vulgar". He also refused to confirm whether he'll use the sum for charitable purposes, as the award's previous recipient Placido Domingo pledged to do.
Muti never actually performed with Nilsson, but he told the press he admired her so much he took a 3 hour train ride to hear her in Fidelio in 1978. Later he heard her as Elektra, Turandot and Isolde and each time was struck by the beauty, power and delicacy of her voice.
**** UPDATE ****
Part of the press conference:
Part of the award ceremony; Sondra Radvanovsky sings: