Italian maestro Muti wins top Spanish arts prize
Italian conductor Riccardo Muti was Wednesday awarded one of Spain's highest honours, the Prince of Asturias prize for arts, for the "passion and virtuosity" of his interpretations.
Muti, currently the music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is "acknowledged as one of the best classical music conductors in the world," the Prince of Asturias Foundation said in a statement.
He "has conducted the most prestigious orchestras with both passion and virtuosity, leaving a profound mark with his interpretations, which have attained a universal dimension."
Muti has previously served as the music director of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, at the Philadelphia Orchestra, at Milan's renowned La Scala.
He has also conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, New York Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras.
The prize is awarded to a person, group or institution whose work in cinema, dance, music or other forms of artistic expression "constitute a significant contribution to mankind's cultural heritage."
Last year the prize went to American avant-garde sculptor Richard Serra.
Previous winners include Oscar-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, Grammy-winning US singer Bob Dylan and British architect Norman Foster.
The Prince of Asturias awards are also given in the fields of communication and humanities, scientific and technical research, social science, letters, international cooperation, international understanding and sport.
Named after Crown Prince Felipe, the prizes, worth 50,000 euros ($74,000), each, are presented in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo, capital of the Asturias region.
© 2011 AFP