JERUSALEM (JTA) – Spanish tenor Placido Domingo has been named a recipient of Israel’s 2012 Wolf Prize.
The $100,000 prizes, which will be presented in May by Israeli President Shimon Peres during a special Knesset session, were announced Wednesday in Jerusalem by Israeli Minister of Education and Wolf Foundation Council Chair Gideon Sa’ar.
Domingo, 70, will share the Wolf Prize for the Arts with German conductor Sir Simon Rattle of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Domingo’s award is the first time the prize has been awarded to a vocalist.
The prize for medicine was awarded to Ronald M. Evans of the Gene Expression Laboratory at The Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., for his work with nuclear receptors.
Prof. A. Paul Alivisatos of the University of California at Berkeley was awarded the prize for chemistry for his work in nanoscience. He will share the award with Charles M. Lieber of Harvard University, who is being honored for his work in nanowires.
The award for physics went Jacob D. Bekenstein of the Racah Institute of Physics at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem for his work in black holes.
The prize for mathematics was awarded to Prof. Michael Aschbacher of the California institute of technology for his work on the theory of finite groups. He will share the prize with Luis Caffarelli of the University of Texas at Austin, for his work on partial differential equations.
Since 1978, the Wolf Prize has been awarded 29 times to 272 scientists and artists from 23 countries, including 19 from Israel, for "achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples, irrespective of nationality, race, color, religion, sex, or political view." Over one-third of all Wolf Prize winners have gone on to win the Nobel Prize in the sciences.
The Israel-based Wolf Foundation was established by the late German-born inventor, diplomat and philanthropist Dr. Ricardo Wolf, who served as the Cuban ambassador to Israel from 1961 to 1973.