Inaugurated in 1997, the Anton Seidl Award is given to those who have made major contributions to the performance and appreciation of Wagner’s works in the U.S.
The award is named in honor of Anton Seidl, pictured at right in 1895, who conducted the premieres of most Wagner operas at the Met and in Philadelphia, and who was New York’s leading symphonic conductor before his death here in 1898.
An occasional award (in the form of an elaborate scroll), it is presented at an exclusive event attended by our members and the award recipient, and often featuring an interview, special remarks and a reception.
The Anton Seidl award has been given to James Levine, Birgit Nilsson, Jon Vickers, James Morris, Speight Jenkins (director of the Seattle Opera), Otto Schenk and Günther Schneider-Siemssen (director and designer respectively of the 1986-2009 Met Ring production), and, in 2010, to Plácido Domingo. More recent award recipients include:
May 2013: in celebration of the Richard Wagner bicentennial year, the Anton Seidl Award was given to the entire Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The award was accepted on behalf of the Orchestra by Concertmaster David Chan. Click here to view our recording on this event on our YouTube channel!
May 2016: the award was given to renouned Met soprano Waltraud Meier, as part of a special tribute that included an interview with F. Paul Driscoll, a message from Mo. Daniel Barenboim, and remarks by distinguished guests. Click here to view the interview on YouTube.
May 2018: The most recent Anton Seidl award recipient was mezzo soprano Mignon Dunn, who was honored at our 2018 Birgit Nilsson Triibute for her many Wagner roles and performances at leading opera houses around the world. She sang more than 650 performances over a span of 35 years at the Met, including many with “La Nilsson” as Brangene in Tristan und Isolde.