This evening's Gramophone Classical Music Awards ceremony will live long in the memory for many reasons, not least for the astounding display of virtuosity of this year's Young Artist of the Year, the pianist Joseph Moog, who performed The Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes from Johann Strauss II's 'Die Fledermaus' by Leopold Godowsky and, upon collecting his prize said: 'It's a great honour for me to receive this prestigious award and to be around this enormous amount of talent and artistry here tonight.'
The Label of the Year Award was given to Channel Classics and their Founder Jared Sacks. Channel Classics have had a great year with many notable releases, most notably perhaps Vivaldi's L'estro armonico performed by Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque, which was our Recording of the Month in April.
The Artist of the Year Award – the only Gramophone Award which is voted for by the public – was won by conductor Paavo Järvi, who said: 'It's a humbling thought to be chosen as Gramophone's Artist of the Year and I am hugely proud to be standing here today to receive the Award. I am of also indebted to the musicians with whom I regularly record - these are not just performing and recording partnerships but friendships which have evolved over the years. I now look forward to many more years of music making with even more enthusiasm than before.' He also added, with reference to the fact that he records for so many different labels with many different orchestras, 'I'm loyal, but I'm not exclusive', which elicited much laughter from the audience.
In one of the most heart-warming moments of this year's ceremony, the Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Bernard Haitink, who received a standing ovation from all present. Visibly moved by the experience, Haitink received the Award from Sir Thomas Allen, and said: 'I'm totally speechless about this. I'm always a bit wary of compliments, but this is really very, very touching. I've worked with wonderful soloists, wonderful singers... but it's dangerous to look back too much - I am still enjoying making music with wonderful people.'
The most coveted Gramophone Award of all – the Recording of the Year – was won by Claudio Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra for their account of Bruckner's Symphony No 9 on DG.
To read reviews of all of the Gramophone Award-winning recordings, please visit our Awards page.