Celebrating the very best of classical music

Martin Cullingford
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Gramophone's Editor introduces the special Awards edition of the magazine

It feels like we have finally, and wonderfully, returned to things as they once were. As we signed off our special Awards issue, out now, it was with the knowledge that in just a couple of weeks our winners would be gathered, in person once more, to celebrate the best that recording has brought us over the past year. Artists would once more be on our stage, listened to intently by colleagues from across the music business; speeches would be delivered to an attentive audience not the lens of a camera.

But we also cannot fail to be affected by the events of the past few years. A renewed sense of gratitude for the place of performance in our lives. A desire on our part to continue to serve the hundreds of thousands of viewers who tuned in during the past two years to watch our filmed ceremonies – and if that’s you, we’re determined to serve you just as well this year. On Friday you’ll find full coverage of our Awards, specially prepared with home viewing in mind, here at our website. In a way, our challenge – though joy it also is – is one shared by many in the industry, and it’s noticeable that from Wigmore Hall’s streaming to Spatial Audio at Apple Music, the home audience has never been better served. 

But ultimately, none of that means anything if the music-making isn’t as inspired as it is, talking to our generation with works old but newly interpreted, or just simply new. I could, and I dare say do, write every year about the extraordinary quality of music that artists across the world bring us – but that’s because as I explore our winners, and the shortlists that produced them, I’m always in awe of what creativity, virtuosity and humanity, when united with the skill and soul of a musician, can achieve. I shall avoid risk of spoilers and wish you enjoyment both as you read our celebratory coverage either in our Awards edition of the magazine or here at our website, and, ultimately, listen to the winners. My sincere thanks go to all my colleagues who helped prepare our Awards, not least to our critics who give so generously of their time and expertise to ensure they remain both authoritative and inspiring.

In the past weeks, music, of course, once more found itself playing its uniquely powerful role in public life last month, as Britain – and incredibly movingly, the wider world – paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Where words fail to fully encapsulate emotions of loss and grief, music steps in. It did so extraordinarily, from the choristers of Westminster Abbey, the Chapel Royal and St George’s Windsor, to the military bands and pipers. The Queen’s life was one in which music featured significantly – ceremonially of course, but just how much her patronage of many musical ensembles and organisations meant to her and to them was clear from the heartfelt tributes that followed her death. That music means much to King Charles is well known. It is, for him, a passion he pursues both in public, through commissions, patronage and the offering of invaluable support, and in private as a deeply engaged listener too. As he takes on the responsibilities of the crown, may music continue to bring him inspiration, and joy alike. 

Gramophone Print

  • Print Edition

From £6.67 / month


Gramophone Digital Club

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive
  • Reviews Database
  • Full website access

From £8.75 / month



If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.