At a glittering and star-studded ceremony in central London, the 2017 Gramophone Classical Music Awards - this year presented in association with the Pan-Armenian Symphony Orchestra, Qobuz, Naim Audio and the BPI – unveiled the special awards and presented the 12 recording category Awards that were revealed a fortnight ago.
Isabelle Faust’s Harmonia Mundi recording of the Mozart violin concertos with Il Giardino Armonico directed by Giovanni Antonini was named Gramophone’s Recording of the Year (sponsored by Qobuz). Isabelle Faust was in São Paulo but sent a video message of thanks.
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by Presto Classical) for her glorious career as one of the best-loved sopranos of our time. The actor and singer Julian Ovenden made the presentation.
The conductor Vasily Petrenko received the Artist of the Year Award, the result of a public vote by over 8000 Gramophone readers and visitors to Gramophone’s website.
The Young Artist of the Year Award, supported by Help Musicians UK, went to the Italian pianist Beatrice Rana whose Warner Classics recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations made it to the final round of the awards this year.
Label of the Year (sponsored by Classical:Next) went to Signum Classics and its MD Steve Long received for award for a consistently imaginative approach to A&R.
The composer, producer and founder of NMC, Colin Matthews, received a Special Achievement Award from Sir Mark Elder for his services to contemporary British music and Classic FM received a Special Anniversary Award, marking the 40th anniversary of the Awards, for the station’s championing of classical music.
Other artists receiving their Awards - which were presented by Gramophone’s James Jolly and the violinist Jennifer Pike - included the pianist Murray Perahia (Instrumental), singers Iestyn Davies (Baroque Vocal sponsored by Mrs Joan Jones) and Carolyn Sampson (Choral, sponsored by IDAGIO),the violinist and director of La Serenissima, Adrian Chandler (Baroque Instrumental), composer and conductor George Benjamin (Contemporary, sponsored by Naim Audio), Phantasm (Early Music), the Silesian Quartet (Chamber, sponsored by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute), the tenor Mauro Peter (Opera).Video acceptances came from Giovanni Antonini (Orchestral, sponsored by the European Foundation for Support of Culture, and Concerto), Joyce DiDonato (Recital, sponsored by Primephonic) and Matthias Goerne (Solo Vocal).
Live music came from the Pan-Armenian Symphony and their founder and conductor Sergey Smbatyan, The Tallis Scholars and Peter Philips (recipients of the 1987 Recording of the Year who returned to mark the Awards’ anniversary), Beatrice Rana, Carolyn Sampson and Iestyn Davies with the pianist Joseph Middleton and last year’s Young Artist of the Year, Benjamin Appl, who joined the orchestra for Carl Millöcker’s heart-stopping operetta aria ‘Dunkelrote Rosen’ from Gasparone.
The awards were streamed live on the Gramophone website, medici.tv and via Classic FM’s Facebook page. You can watch the ceremony again for 90 days here: gramophone.co.uk/awards/2017