Gramophone launches Orchestra of the Year Award 2020 Festival from July 24

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Ten days of orchestral music from great orchestra-conductor partnerships

For the third consecutive year, the Gramophone Classical Music Awards will be naming an Orchestra of the Year. The only award decided on by public vote, Orchestra of the Year celebrates collaborative music-making at the highest level. This year, and following the hugely successful Lockdown Charity Gala (watched by more than 240,000 people), Gramophone is hosting a 10-day online festival focusing on the 10 nominated orchestras in the running for this year’s Orchestra of the Year Award. Each concert remains online on Gramophone’s website, Facebook page and YouTube channel for 23 hours.

James Jolly, Editor-in-Chief of Gramophone, says: ‘What we are celebrating with the Orchestra of the Year Award is the extraordinary magic that happens between conductor and players – and the results are inspiring, moving and often thrilling. After the success of the Seattle Symphony in 2018 and the Hong Kong Philharmonic last year, we present – for ten days – a series of concerts that celebrates these magnificent ensembles and ask you to vote for 2020’s Orchestra of the Year.’

The programme for the festival is:

July 24, 7pm (BST)
Freiburger Barockorchester (Germany)
directed by Kristian Bezuidenhout
Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos 1-3

July 25, 7pm (BST)
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Germany)
conducted Robin Ticciati
Rebel Les élémens
Larcher Symphony No 2, ‘Kenotaph’
R Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra

July 26, 7pm (BST)
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Norway)
conducted by Edward Gardner
Ravel Daphnis et Chloé Suite No 2
Grieg Piano Concerto (with Leif Ove Andsnes)
Ørjan Matre Butterfly (from Lyric Pieces)
Sibelius Luonnotar (with Lise Davidsen)
Schoenberg Pelleas und Melisande

July 27, 7pm (BST)
NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo (Japan)
conducted by Paavo Järvi
Rachmaninov Symphony No 2

July 28, 7pm (BST)
Philadelphia Orchestra (USA)
conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Habibi Jeder Baum spricht
Beethoven Symphonies Nos 5 & 6, ‘Pastoral’

July 29, 7pm (BST)
Los Angeles Philharmonic (USA)
conducted by Gustavo Dudamel
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring – a suite

July 30, 7pm (BST)
Orchestre National de Lille (France)
conducted by Alexandre Bloch
Mahler Symphony No 7

July 31, 7pm (BST)
BBC Symphony Orchestra (UK)
with BBC Proms Youth Ensemble, BBC Symphony Chorus  
and National Youth Choir of Great Britain
conducted by Sakari Oramo
Flourish with Fireworks
Vaughan Williams Toward The Unknown Region
Holst The Planets
Anna Meredith Five Telegrams

August 1, 7pm (BST)
musicAeterna (Russia)
conducted by Teodor Currentzis
Mozart Requiem – Introitus … Kyrie … Dies irae
Purcell The Indian Queen – Aria 'Music for a While'; Aria 'I love and I must'; Anthem 'Hear my prayer'
Verdi Requiem – Libera me
Mahler Symphony No 3 – VI. 'Was mir die Liebe erzählt'
Biber Battalia
Hildegard von Bingen O vis aeternitatis

August 2, 7pm (BST)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (UK)
conducted by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla
Čiurlionis The Sea
Grieg Peer Gynt – incidental music (with Klara Ek and the CBSO Chorus)

has created 11 Apple Music playlists – one for each ensemble, as well as a dynamic playlist that will be updated throughout the summer, exclusively available to listen to on Apple Music. You can listen below.

Gramophone has also made two podcasts in which James Jolly talks to two Gramophone contributors, Andrew Mellor and Rob Cowan, about the 10 ensembles. Listen to Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Voting is open and remains live until Monday, September 7. The Orchestra of the Year will be revealed on October 6 at the 2020 Gramophone Classical Music Awards. 

The Nominees Playlist

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