Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2022: the full report

Hattie Butterworth
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

All of the winners from this year's Gramophone Classical Music Awards

Presenting our first in-person Gramophone Awards since 2019, Gramophone's Editor-in-Chief James Jolly began the 2022 Awards evening by reminding us of the impact music has played in the last few years: ‘Music has provided solace and hope, it’s brought people together thanks to many new and innovative technologies, it’s been recognised for the huge part it plays in societies all around the world.’

The event was attended by many of the Award winners, including Barbara Hannigan, Johann Dalene, Emily D'Angelo and Leif Ove Andsnes, who also gave magical performances on the night, as well as Lukas Geniušas, Jean-Christophe Groffe and conductor John Wilson, who received the prize for Spatial Audio in collaboration with Chandos.

Live performances were also heard from the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, who opened the event. Further performances from the Orchestra for the Age of Enlightenment, pianist Bruce Liu, former winner cellist Christian-Pierre La Marca, and pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, representing Label of the Year, Chandos.  

Orchestra of the Year

In the only award decided by public vote, the Budapest Festival Orchestra was named Orchestra of the Year.

The Budapest Festival Orchestra and its Music Director Iván Fischer triumphed in a shortlist of 10 world-famous orchestras, and is a partnership that has given us a constant stream of magnificent recordings. Over 24,000 votes were cast this year, and securing over 38 per cent of those votes was the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

In his speech heard over video, Fischer said 'I wanted an orchestra that was different and not better-it's very important to us that it's not a competition.' The Orchestra of the Year Award is sponsored by Apple Music.

Recording of the Year

The renowned Recording of the Year award went this year to Korngold’s Die tote Stadt with Jonas Kaufmann and Marlis Petersen and the Choruses and Orchestra of the Bavarian State Orchestra conducted by Kirill Petrenko with stage direction by Simon Stone. The recording is timely release as it hits 125 years since its composer’s birth and was described in its Gramophone review by Richard Bratby as ‘music of life-affirming inspiration and colour’.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Daniel Barenboim received the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding work as both a pianist and conductor, as well as a distinguished recording output. He has occupied the very highest echelons of classical music for over half a century, working with the greatest musicians and orchestras throughout that time. He’s led orchestras and opera houses in Paris, Berlin, Milan, Chicago as well as the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, an ensemble that personifies Daniel Barenboim’s humanitarian beliefs. A moving collection of tributes from friends and colleagues showcased the love, gratitude and thanks for Barenboim's incredible lifetime of dedicated musical and social action. 

Artist of the Year

Every year we name an Artist of the Year, an award that for the past few years, has been sponsored by Raymond Weil. It goes to someone whose music-making sets them apart, who does something a little bit different and, perhaps more important, encourages new audiences into the world of classical music.

The Artist of the Year Award was given to Barbara Hannigan and announced by her friend and previous Recording of the Year winner, pianist Bertrand Chamayou. In her speech, Hannigan explained the accolade as being 'dependent on teamwork over a lifetime', as well as giving thanks to friends, colleagues and her teachers who 'helped me develop the technique which allowed me to sing the music I love'

Young Artist of the Year

22 year old violinist, Johan Dalene has seen huge success over the past few years, recently becoming both an ECHO Rising Star and BBC New Generation Artist from 2019-2022. In 2019 Dalene also won the Carl Nielsen Competition in Denmark – and his recording of the Nielsen and Sibelius concertos, made after the competition with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and John Storgårds, was not only named an Editor’s Choice but was also a contender in the concerto category this year. This award was sponsored by Classic FM.

Label of the Year

Chandos' recording output this past year includes Imogen Cooper’s deeply personal recital ‘… Le temps perdu …’, benchmark-setting Mendelssohn from the Doric Quartet, the sonic splendour of St Paul’s Cathedral’s organ from Simon Johnson – and let’s not forget that this time last year we named a powerful performance of Britten’s Peter Grimes Recording of the Year. 'Showcasing partnerships both long-established and being newly nurtured, albums which add both breadth and depth to the catalogue, a dedication to sound quality: Chandos is a shining example of exactly what makes recording so special.'

Representing them at the Awards ceremony and giving a stunning live performance was pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, an artist whose album of Haydn sonatas was selected only last month as Gramophone’s Editor's Choice.


Concept Album

The Concept Album Award is a relatively new addition to the line-up, and acknowledges a special kind of A&R that goes beyond great programming. It’s an award we make in partnership with Nordoff Robbins, a charity that places music right at the centre of its work to enrich the lives of people with life-limiting illness, disabilities or feelings of isolation, with amazing results. The Concept Album Award salutes the longer form where the sum of its parts add up to something remarkable. We rewarded Emily D'Angelo for her album 'Enargeia', reimagining the presentation of music by women alongside musical responses to humanitarian crises. 'The album demonstrates with impressive regularity D’Angelo’s ability to enter into the heart of the music’s matter, unleashing its innate spirit.'

Special Achievement 

Gramophone gave the special achievement award to a project described by Harriet Smith to contain ‘some of the finest Mozart-playing on the planet.' Mozart Momentum – two releases that explore two extraordinary years of Mozart’s creativity, 1785 and 86 – found the pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra exploring not just concertante works, but also chamber music and even a concert aria. Both recordings were Editor’s Choices and one was named Recording of the Month. 

The Gramophone Classical Music Awards were presented in association with Apple Music, Help Musicians, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the GFPA.

You can explore all the winners in detail at 2022 Gramophone Awards

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