Rachel Podger accepts Artist of the Year Award
Gramophone Awards 2018: final winners announced at London ceremony9:00, 14th September 2018
Last night (13 September) prominent classical musicians came together in central London for the annual Gramophone Awards, which celebrate the best recordings and artists of the last year.
Young saxophonist Jess Gillam, guitarist Miloš Karadaglić and soprano Carolyn Sampson presented the awards, and there were performances from winners past and present, including Crebassa performing Duparc’s ‘Au pays où se fait la guerre’ from her winning recording Secrets and presenter Miloš performing Villa-Lobos’s Prelude No 1.
Of the category awards, which were revealed at the start of September, one is singled out to become Recording of the Year: this year the crown went to John Nelson’s recording of Berlioz’s Les Troyens on the Erato label. Featuring Joyce DiDonato, Michael Spyres and Marie-Nicole Lemieux, the recording was described by Gramophone as ‘a thrilling new benchmark for this epic opera’.
Five additional awards were presented on the evening. Estonian conductor Neeme Järvi won the Lifetime Achievement Award for his discography of over 400 releases of music by over 100 composers. Rachel Podger was awarded Artist of the Year: she reached No 1 in the official Classical Charts with her recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Young Artist of the Year went to soprano Lise Davidsen, following widely-praised performances at Glyndebourne, Aix-en-Provence and Vienna.
Orchestra of the Year award went to the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Gaining 47.8% of the vote, this win follows their nomination last year for their recording of Mahler’s Symphony No 10.
Finally, French label Harmonia Mundi was awarded Label of the Year, in recognition of its long-term partnerships with some of the most admired artists working in the industry today.
James Jolly, editor-in-chief at Gramophone, said: ‘Classical music is a sector that has been performing well in the UK when compared with other kinds of music. In the first six months of this year classical CDs, downloads and streaming have all outperformed the market. Classical streams were up by 45% against total market growth of 37%. Let’s hope that this evening’s focus on classical music plays its part in producing more figures like that.’