Grammy-winning opera singer and conductor Placido Domingo will receive UCLA’s highest honor — the UCLA Medal — in recognition of his contributions to music and nurturing of young talent, the university announced Tuesday.

“Placido Domingo’s contributions to the world of opera as a singer, conductor, administrator and educator are unparalleled,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said. “He has been a powerful champion for the arts in Los Angeles for five decades, and his exceptional commitment to arts education embodies UCLA’s highest ideals.”

Domingo will be honored Nov. 12 at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

The UCLA Medal was established in 1979 and is awarded to individuals who have earned academic and professional acclaim, and who exhibit the ideals of UCLA.

Domingo — a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient — made his debut in America in 1961 when he sang with the Dallas Civic Opera. He has sung 148 roles in more than 3,900 performances around the world.

His first appearance in Los Angeles was at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in 1967, and he has performed in every Los Angeles Opera season since 1986. On Nov. 17, the L.A. Opera will host a concert to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his debut in Los Angeles.

Domingo has been an art director and consultant for the L.A. Opera since 1984, and was named the Eli and Edythe Broad general director in 2003. He is also the founder Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at the L.A. Opera. In 1994, Domingo was an adjunct professor in UCLA’s department of music.

“Music has been my life and it gives me indescribable joy to share it with others,” Domingo said. “More than anything else, watching music inspire young people brings me so much fulfillment. I am passionate about nurturing talent and giving opportunities to promising young performers, and if I could only hope to give back half of what music has given to me, I would be filled with gratitude.”

The UCLA Medal ceremony will be held 3 p.m. Nov. 12 at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall, 445 Charles E Young Drive. It will be followed by a 45-minute master class with Domingo, two students from UCLA’s voice and opera program and two singers from the Domingo-Colburn-Stein program.

–City News Service

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