Marianne Crebassa, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Delphine Galou, Les Siècles, John Nelson, Christian Tetzlaff, Arcadi Volodos and the Pavel Haas Quartet among the artists and ensembles recognised by awards

The 10 winning recordings announced today now compete for the prestigious Recording of the Year Award, announced on September 13 alongside other special awards


Gramophone today [Friday August 31] announced the winners of the 10 categories of its annual Classical Music Awards. One of these recordings will now go on to win Recording of the Year, which will be announced at the awards ceremony on September 13 at the glamourous De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London’s Covent Garden. Other awards to be announced on the night include Artist of the Year, Young Artist of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Label of the Year and the new Orchestra of the Year Award, the only accolade this year to be decided by public vote.

For the third consecutive year, the ceremony – including performances from award winners past and present – is broadcast live on to audiences in more than 180 countries. Last year, more than 65,000 people tuned in for the event from all over the globe, with more expected this year.

In the Chamber category, the Pavel Haas Quartet with Boris Giltburg and Pavel Nikl win for its recording of Dvořák quintets. The Quartet is no stranger to the Gramophone Awards, having won Recording of the Year in 2011 for its recording of Dvořák string quartets and a Gramophone Chamber Award for four out of its seven recordings. (Released on the Supraphon label)

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir conducted by Kaspars Putniņš wins the Choral category for its recording of Arvo Pärt’s Magnificat and Nunc dimittis and Alfred Schnittke’s Psalms of Repentance. Described by Gramophone as ‘a truly outstanding rendition that picks up every emotional and spiritual nuance with no sacrifice of technical perfection’, this recording marks the Choir’s first Gramophone Award win. (BIS)

Internationally-renowned violinist Christian Tetzlaff’s recording of Bartók’s violin concertos with Hannu Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra wins the Concerto category for a disc that ‘elevates this work [Bartók’s First Violin Concerto] to a whole new level of musical excellence’. A previous winner in the Chamber category, this is Tetzlaff’s first win for a concerto recording. (Ondine)

The Contemporary category is won by the Arditti Quartet and the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra for their recording of Pascal Dusapin’s Quatuors VI and VII. This is the Arditti‘s Quartet’s third Gramophone Award win for recordings of contemporary music, having previously won in 1999 and 2002. (aeon)

For the first time ever in the Award’s history, the Early Music Award is won by a non-European group, with the American vocal ensemble Blue Heron’s recording ‘Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks, Vol. 5’ taking the prize. Described in the Gramophone review as ‘one of the discoveries of the year’, much of the music of these partbooks had previously been lost before being reconstructed by British scholar Nick Sandon. (Blue Heron)

The Instrumental Award is claimed by a pianist for the eighth year in a row, with Arcadi Volodos winning for his recording of piano pieces by Brahms, including his Opp. 76, 117 and 118. Volodos is a previous winner of this Award, having won for his recording ‘Volodos plays Mompou’ back in 2014. (Sony Classical)

John Nelson’s recording of Berlioz’s complete and uncut Les Troyens, featuring a starry international cast that includes Michael Spyres, Joyce DiDonato, Marie-Nicole Lemieux and more, wins the Opera category. Noted by the magazine for ‘setting a thrilling new benchmark for this epic opera’ this Gramophone Award adds to the recording’s already substantial list of accolades. (Erato)

François-Xavier Roth and Les Siècles win this year’s Orchestral Award for their recording of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé. Praised by Gramophone for its ‘tonal sweetness’, this is their debut recording on the Harmonia Mundi label. Les Siècles are also a nominee for this year’s Orchestra of the Year Award, which will be announced on September 13 following a worldwide public vote. (Harmonia Mundi)

Described as ‘a treasure trove of rare music’ by Gramophone, Delphine Galou’s recording of Baroque arias and her first solo recital disc, ‘Agitata’, claims the Recital prize. Joined by Accademia Bizantina conducted by Ottavio Dantone, this album explores rarely-recorded works by composers including Brevi, Caldara and Stradella. (Alpha)

Marianne Crebassa and Fazıl Say’s exploration of French song, ‘Secrets’, claims the Solo Vocal prize. Also featuring a song by Say himself, the recording was described as ‘one of the finest French song recitals of recent years’. Crebassa is technically a double Gramophone Award winner this year, having also sung on the winning Opera, Les Troyens. (Erato)

The Gramophone Classical Music Awards are presented in association with Estonia 100, the BPI, and Qobuz, with individual awards supported by E.Gutzwiller & Cie, Banquiers (Opera), the PPL and PRS for Music (Contemporary), Presto Classical (Lifetime Achievement), Apple Music (Orchestra of the Year), Kings Place (Chamber), Classical:Next (Label of the Year), Mrs Joan Jones (Solo Vocal) and and idagio (Orchestral). The stream is jointly sponsored by E. Gutzwiller & Cie, Banquiers and IMG Artists.

James Jolly, Gramophone’s Editor-in-Chief, said: ‘We’ve had a wonderful few months listening to all the shortlisted recordings and these 10 winners are a terrific endorsement of the enterprise, imagination and flair demonstrated by a vibrant classical record industry.’

Gramophone’s Awards issue, published on September 14, will contain full information on the Awards and this year’s winners.


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