The Classic FM Gramophone Awards 2009

Record of the Year

Ravel, Debussy & Fauré

String Quartets

Quatuor Ebène

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Artist of the Year - The Sixteen

The Sixteen

After thirty years of world-wide performance and recording, The Sixteen is recognised as one of the world’s greatest vocal ensembles. Its special reputation for performing early English polyphony, masterpieces of the Renaissance and a diversity of 20th century music is drawn from the passions of conductor and founder, Harry Christophers. Over ninety recordings reflect The Sixteen’s quality in a range of work spanning the music of five hundred years, winning many awards including Grand Prix du Disque for Handel's Messiah, numerous Schallplattenkritik, the coveted Gramophone Award for Early Music, and most recently the prestigious Classical ...

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Young Artist of the Year - Yuja Wang

Yuja Wang

Born in Beijing in 1987, Yuja Wang began studying piano at age six, with her earliest public performances taking place in China, Australia and Germany, and went on to study at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing under Ling Yuan and Zhou Guangren. Following three years, from 1999 to 2001, at the Morningside Music summer program at Calgary’s Mount Royal College, an artistic and cultural exchange program between Canada and China, Yuja moved to Canada and began studying with Hung Kuan Chen and Tema Blackstone at the Mount Royal College Conservatory. In 2002, when Yuja was 15, she won Aspen Music Festival’s concerto competition and moved to the U.S. to study with Gary Graffman at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she graduated in 2008. In 2006 Yuja received the Gilmore Young Artist Award.

Yuja is widely recognized for playing that combines the spontaneity and fearless imagination of youth with the discipline and precision of a mature artist. Regularly lauded for her controlled, prodigious technique, her command of the piano has been described as "astounding" and "superhuman" and she has been praised for her authority over the most complex ...

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Special Achievement - Bernard Coutaz of Harmonia Mundi

Bernard Coutaz

Bernard Coutaz, the founder and still president of Harmonia Mundi, launched the label in 1958 following a bet over a bottle of champagne. The first release was a spoken-word disc of contemporary French writers interspersed with organ music. It sold surprisingly well and before long he had begun a collection of organ music focussing on historical organs all over Europe. They travelled the continent in a Citroen 2CV that carried all the equipment, a sound engineer and sometimes the organist as well! This series expanded to over 50 recordings and they also published magazines to accompany them.

The next major turning point for the label came in 1965 when Coutaz went to hear the countertenor Alfred Deller in concert and instantly fell for his wonderful 'new' sound. They went backstage afterwards and invited him for dinner. Deller thought they were the concert promoters and so accepted and, 80 odd miles and several hours later, they arrived back at Coutaz's house. Coutaz produced some eggs and some goats cheese (and no doubt a few good bottles) and, by 5 o’clock in the morning his enthusiasm had persuaded Deller to make records for Harmonia Mundi.

Since then they have never looked back, and while more and more majors are parting company with artists, Harmonia Mundi seems to attract them - offering a safe haven and a climate of genuine artistic creativity to musicians who simply want to get on with what they do best: making great music.

Category Winners

Purcell

The Complete Fantazias

Fretwork

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Handel

Coronation Anthems

The Sixteen & Harry Christophers

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Elgar

The Dream of Gerontius

Paul Groves, Alice Coote & Bryn Terfel, Hallé & Sir Mark Elder

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Britten

Piano Concerto

Steven Osborne, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra & Ilan Volkov

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The NMC Songbook

96 songs specially commissioned for NMC's 20th anniversary

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Wagner

The Copenhagen Ring

Royal Danish Opera

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Song of Songs

Sitle Antico

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Berlioz

Les Troyens

Blanche Thebom, Jon Vickers, Amy Shuard & Jess Walters, Covent Garden Opera Chorus and Orchestra & Rafael Kubelik

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Composers in Person

Bartok, Hindemith, Dohnanyi, Khachaturian, Honegger & Poulenc

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Debussy

Images & Etudes

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet

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Puccini

Madama Butterfly

Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, Enkelejda Shkosa, Fabio Capitanucci, Gregory Bonfatti & Raymond Aceto, Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia & Antonio Pappano

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Tchaikovsky

Manfred Symphony & The Voyevoda

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & Vasily Petrenko

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Martinu

Music from the opera Juliette

Magdalena Kožená, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra & Sir Charles Mackerras

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Schumann

Dichterliebe & other Heine settings

Gerald Finley & Julius Drake

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Editor's Choice

Beethoven: Diabelli Variations

with Bach: Partita No. 4

Stephen Kovacevich

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