The 2011 Gramophone Awards ─ widely referred to as the “Oscars of classical music” ─ has unveiled the nominations for its prestigious awards, to take place at a much-anticipated ceremony in London on 6 October. The awards honour the most outstanding recordings of the past year, with nominees competing to win across 15 categories including Best Opera, Instrumental, Orchestral, Vocal and Contemporary recording.
Featuring recordings from the likes of Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien, and previous
Young Artist of the Year Yuja Wang, to DVD documentaries of the late Carlos Kleiber – recently
voted by his peers as the “best conductor of all time” - the list demonstrates the depth and breadth of talent making up today’s classical recording world.
Competition is fierce across all categories with Joyce DiDonato, who triumphed as last year’s Artist of the Year, battling it out with fellow mezzo-soprano Magdalená Kozena in the Recital category, the Doric and the Pavel Haas Quartets going head to head for Best Chamber recording, and Antonio Pappano facing stiff competition from Claudio Abbado, both with multiple nominations apiece. Linn Records, 2010’s label of the year, picks up three nominations this year, while pianists, including Mitsuko Uchida and Murray Perahia, trump other instrumentalists to dominate the shortlists for Best Concerto and Instrumental.
In the past month, music lovers all over the world have been given the power to vote for the only award not judged by Gramophone critics, the Artist of the Year. This year, the Artist of the Year nominees include major stars Lang Lang, Jonas Kaufmann and Gustavo Dudamel, alongside piano poet Mitsuko Uchida, violinist Alina Ibragimova and trumpeter Alison Balsom, conductors such as Andris Nelsons and Iván Fischer, and early-music specialist Jordi Savall.
For the first time, a major ensemble, which has developed a truly global audience through its Digital Concert Hall and its dynamic use of social networking, has been nominated for Artist of the Year: the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle.
“This year’s nominations reveal the vibrancy of the international classical music market with the independents vying with the majors to demonstrate the remarkable range and depth on offer. It really is a fantastic time to be a passionate follower of recorded classical music.” - James Jolly, editor-in-chief of GramophoneTo see the full shortlists across all 15 categories, please visit www.gramophone.co.uk/awards/2011