“Yo-Yo Ma has been announced as the winner of the triennial Birgit Nilsson Prize, which brings with it $1 million and an elaborate concert and presentation on October 18 by his Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf at the Stockholm Concert Hall,” writes Susan Elliott in Tuesday’s (5/17) Musical America (subscription required). “Ma is the first instrumentalist to receive the prize, whose recipients are proposed by the international music community and voted on by the Nilsson foundation’s board of directors…. Apart from being the world’s best-known cellist and founder of the Silk Road Ensemble, Ma is a humanitarian of the highest order…. He is … a UN Messenger of Peace … and a member of the board of Nia Tero, which works with Indigenous peoples and movements worldwide…. That he should receive this award is particularly appropriate, given Nilsson’s belief in developing a career (hers and young artists’) step by step and with humility. ‘I’ve always tried to remember what my mother used to tell me,’ she once said. ‘Stay close to the earth. Then when you fall down, it won’t hurt so much.’ ” Previous prize recipients include Plácido Domingo, Riccardo Muti, the Vienna Philharmonic, and Nina Stemme.