Gramophone Awards 2012

Record of the Year

Heinrich Schütz: Musicalische Exequien

Vox Luminis, Lionel Meunier

"The 12 voices of Belgian ensemble Vox Luminis put their faith in tonal focus and sweetly balanced textures. Though one might expect from that a certain coolness, their singing produces music-making of intimate, aching beauty. The recorded sound, gently resonant, is perfect... A marvellous disc." Gramophone Magazine

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Artist of the Year - Joseph Calleja

Joseph Calleja

Born in Malta in 1978, Joseph Calleja began singing at the age of 16, inspired by the film The Great Caruso starring Mario Lanza. After singing in his church choir, he began formal training with Maltese tenor Paul Asciak. Calleja made his professional debut in Malta in 1997 as Macduff in Macbeth, and later that year won an award in the Belvedere Hans Gabor competition, launching his international opera career. He went on to win the 1998 Caruso Competition in Milan, was a prizewinner in Domingo’s Operalia the following year, and Artist of the Year at the Gramophone Awards in 2012.

Despite his youth, he has already sung 28 principal roles and performed on most of the world’s leading opera stages, including New York’s Metropolitan Opera, London’s Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, and the Vienna Staatsoper. An exclusive recording artist for Decca Classics, his third solo album, The Maltese Tenor, debuted as the best-selling vocal album on the core classical charts in the UK and Germany.

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Steinway Award - Murray Perahia

Murray Perahia

In the more than 35 years he has been performing on the concert stage, American pianist Murray Perahia has become one of the most sought-after and cherished pianists of our time, performing in all of the major international music centers and with every leading orchestra. He is the Principal Guest Conductor of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, with whom he has toured as conductor and pianist throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, and South East Asia.

Born in New York in 1947, Mr Perahia started playing piano at the age of four, and later attended Mannes College where he majored in conducting and composition. His summers were spent at the Marlboro Festival, where he collaborated with such musicians as Rudolf Serkin, Pablo Casals, and the members of the Budapest String Quartet. He also studied at the time with Mieczyslaw Horszowski. In subsequent years, he developed a close friendship with Vladimir Horowitz, whose perspective and personality were an abiding inspiration. In 1972 Mr Perahia won the Leeds International ...

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Lifetime Achievement Award - Claudio Abbado

Claudio Abbado

Abbado was born in Milan in 1933. He studied piano at the Milan Conservatory with his father Michelangelo Abbado, and went on to study conducting with Hans Swarowsky at the Vienna Academy of Music. In 1958, he won the Koussevitsky Competition, establishing him in Italy. He began working at La Scala in 1960 and remained there as musical director until 1986: his extensive discography includes a ...

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Label of the Year - Naïve

Naive

This exquisite French label embraces a variety of musical styles including classical, film music, jazz and world artists. Performers and ensembles represented on the Naïve label include Sandrine Piau, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Il Giardino Armonico, Christophe Rousset, Laurence Equilbey and Accentus, Ensemble Matheus and the World Philharmonic Orchestra, to name but a few.

Naïve Classique is also renowned for its exhaustive, pioneering Vivaldi Edition, now nearing 40 volumes of the Italian composer’s music drawing on a veritable goldmine of his manuscripts discovered in Turin.

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Young Artist of the Year - Benjamin Grosvenor

Benjamin Grosvenor

British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor is internationally recognized for his electrifying performances and penetrating interpretations. An exquisite technique and ingenious flair for tonal colour are the hallmarks which make Benjamin Grosvenor one of the most sought-after young pianists in the world. His virtuosic command over the most strenuous technical complexities never compromises the formidable depth and intelligence of his interpretations. Described by some as a ‘Golden Age’ pianist (American Record Guide) and one ‘almost from another age’ (The Times), Benjamin is renowned for his distinctive sound, described as ‘poetic and gently ironic, brilliant yet clear-minded, intelligent but not without humour, all translated through a beautifully clear and singing touch’ (The Independent).

Benjamin first came to prominence as the outstanding winner of the Keyboard Final of the 2004 BBC Young Musician Competition at the age of eleven. Since then, he has become an internationally regarded pianist performing with orchestras including the London Philharmonic, RAI Torino, New York Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Tokyo Symphony, and in venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Centre, Singapore’s Victoria Hall, The Frick Collection and Carnegie Hall (at the age of thirteen). He was named Young Artist of the Year at the ...

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Category Winners

Schütz: Musicalische Exequien

Vox Luminis, Lionel Meunier, Masato Suzuki

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Bach, J S: Orchestral Suites

Nos. 1-4, BWV1066-1069

Freiburger Barockorchester

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Martinu: Symphonies Nos. 1-6

BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jiří Bělohlávek

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Schumann: Complete Piano Trios

Leif Ove Andsnes, Christian Tetzlaff & Tanja Tetzlaff

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Howells: Requiem & other works

Trinity College Choir Cambridge, Stephen Layton

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Beethoven & Berg: Violin Concertos

Isabelle Faust, Orchestra Mozart, Claudio Abbado

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Rautavaara: Modificata

Towards the Horizon & Incantations

Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, John Storgårds

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Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 in B flat major (DVD)

Nowak edition

Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

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Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 in B flat major (Blu-ray)

Nowak edition

Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

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Victoria: Sacred Works

Ensemble Plus Ultra, Michael Noone

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Chopin: Etudes

Opp. 10 & 25

Maurizio Pollini

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Chopin, Liszt, Ravel

Benjamin Grosvenor

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Beethoven: Fidelio

Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

Nina Stemme, Jonas Kaufmann, Falk Struckmann

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Arias for Guadagni

Iestyn Davies, Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen

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Songs of War

Simon Keenlyside, Malcolm Martineau

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Special Award

Vaclav Talich Live 1939

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra play Dvorak: Slavonic Dances & Smetana: Má Vlast

The sound, the name, the first international successes, as well as the first recordings made by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, are inseparably linked with the name of Václav Talich. The recordings contained on this CD originated under truly exceptional circumstances and document unrepeatable moments.

The performance of Smetana’s Má Vlast (My Country) on 5 June 1939 in Nazi-occupied Protectorate Prague – and what’s more, at the National Theatre, perceived as a symbol of national cohesion – was an expressive manifestation of Talich’s patriotism. The moment’s sheer emotional charge gave rise to what may justly be considered the conductor’s finest recording of Má Vlast and, following a long-lasting ovation, the enthusiastic audience spontaneously rounded off the concert by singing the Czech national anthem.

This recording of the concert and that of Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances, which was performed at the National Theatre four days later, have been preserved owing to their direct transmission to several European cities. The recording was made by Radio Norway, which possessed the most advanced audiorecording technology of the time. Talich’s Má Vlast, exuding defiance and a resolve to protect freedom, stands in stark contrast to Rafael Kubelík’s legendary 1990 Má Vlast, which reflects the euphoria at the regaining of freedom.

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Other Finalists

Handel: Concerti Grossi

Nos. 1-6, HWV312-317

Concerto Copenhagen, Lars Ulrik Mortensen

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Vivaldi: The French Connection 2

Concertos for flute, oboe, violin, bassoon and strings

Adrian Chandler, La Serenissima

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Zelenka: Responsoria pro hebdomada sancta

Collegium 1704 & Collegium Vocale 1704, Vaclav Luks

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Bach, JS: Mass in B minor, BWV232

Collegium Vocale Gent, Philippe Herreweghe

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Schumann: String Quartets

Op. 41 Nos. 1-3

Doric String Quartet

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Ives: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1-4

Hilary Hahn, Valentina Lisitsa

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Half Monk / Half Rascal

Vocal music by Francis Poulenc

Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Stephen Layton

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Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem

Monteverdi Choir & Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner

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Shostakovich: Piano Concertos

Alexander Melnikov, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Teodor Currentzis

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Bartók: Violin Concertos & Viola Concerto

James Ehnes, BBC Philharmonic, Gianandrea Noseda

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Saariaho: D’OM LE VRAI SENS

Laterna Magica, Leino Songs

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sakari Oramo

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Per Nørgård: Violin Concertos

Peter Herresthal, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Rolf Gupta

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Jascha Heifetz

God's Fiddler

A film by Peter Rosen

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Alfred Brendel on Music

Three Lectures

A film by Mark Kidel

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Strauss: Die Frau ohne Schatten

Christian Thielemann, Christof Loy

Stephen Gould, Anne Schwanewilms, Evelyn Herlitzius, Wolfgang Koch

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Lully: Atys

Les Arts Florissants, William Christie

Bernard Richter, Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Nicolas Rivenq, Sophie Daneman

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Ciconia: Opera Omnia

Diabolus In Musica & La Morra, Antoine Guerber & Michal Gondko

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Josquin - Missa De beata virgine

Credo quarti toni, Messe Ave Maris Stella

The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips

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Glenn Gould in Concert

1951-1960

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Anthology of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Vol. 6

1990-2000

Anthology of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

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Schubert: Piano Sonatas

Paul Lewis

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Chopin: The Complete Waltzes

Stephen Hough

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Massenet: Werther

ROH Orchestra & Chorus, Antonio Pappano

Rolando Villazon, Sophie Koch, Audun Iversen, Eri Nakamura

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Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Marek Janowski

Albert Dohmen, Robert Dean Smith, Edith Haller, Dietrich Henschel

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Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & Firebird Suite

Budapest Festival Orchestra, Ivan Fischer

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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 & Overtures

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Riccardo Chailly

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Wagner Scenes

René Pape, Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim

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Vivaldi: Opera Arias

Roberta Invernizzi, La Risonanza, Fabio Bonizzoni

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Britten: Serenade & Nocturne

Mark Padmore, Britten Sinfonia, Jacqueline Shave

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Britten: Songs and Proverbs of William Blake

Roderick Williams, Iain Burnside

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For details of the 2011 and earlier awards, together with monthly Gramophone Magazine recommendations, click here.

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