At the end of an evening of captivating music-making and heartfelt speeches, it was a remarkable recording of Berlioz's Les Troyens which carried off the biggest prize of all – Gramophone's Recording of the Year.
This year's ceremony – presented in association with Estonia 100, BPI, medici.tv and Qobuz – was hosted by Editor-in-Chief James Jolly at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms, Covent Garden, and was broadcast worldwide by medici.tv.
The orchestra for the ceremony was the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kristjan Järvi. And it was a special evening for the Järvi family, as Neeme Järvi (the father of Kristjan and Paavo, all three conductors) was presented with Gramophone's Lifetime Achievement Award.
The winner of our inaugural Orchestra of the Year Award, the only Gramophone Award voted for by the public, was the Seattle Symphony which is thriving under the music directorship of Ludovic Morlot.
This year's Artist of the Year Award went to Rachel Podger, whose recent recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons and her 'Grandissima Gravita' album, both for Channel Classics, won high praise in Gramophone's pages this year. Lindsay Kemp described 'Grandissima Gravita' as 'a listening experience of unbridled pleasure. An exceptional album.'
Rachel Podger receives her Artist of the Year Award from Jonathan Freeman-Attwood (photo: Benjamin Ealovega)
The Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen, who signed a recording contract with Decca Classics earlier this year, was presented with the Young Artist of the Year Award and closed the evening with a moving performance of Richard Strauss's 'Morgen', accompanied by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and this year's Lifetime Achievement Award-winner, Neeme Järvi.
Marek Zwiebel, Lise Davidsen and Neeme Järvi perform Strauss's 'Morgen' to close the show (photo: Benjamin Ealovega)
It was a double celebration for Harmonia Mundi, who won the Orchestral Award for Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé (Les Siècles and François-Xavier Roth) and were also named Gramophone's Label of the Year.
The full list of winners is as follows:
(Sponsored by Presto Classical)
(Sponsored by Apple Music)
(Sponsored by Classical Next)
(Sponsors: Qobuz (Recording of the Year Award); E. Gutzwiller & Cie, Banquiers (Opera Award))
Berlioz Les Troyens: Sols incl DiDonato, Spyres, Lemieux; Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra / John Nelson (Erato) Explore the recording
(Sponsored by Kings Place)
Dvořák Quintets: Boris Giltburg; Pavel Nikl; Pavel Haas Quartet (Supraphon) Explore the recording
Pärt Magnificat. Nunc dimittis Schnittke Psalms of Repentance: Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir / Kaspars Putniņš (BIS) Explore the recording
Bartók Violin Concertos Nos 1 & 2: Christian Tetzlaff; Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Hannu Lintu (Ondine) Explore the recording
(Sponsored by PPL & PRS for Music)
Dusapin String Quartets Nos 6 & 7: Arditti Quartet; Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France / Pascal Rophé (Aeon) Explore the recording
‘Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks, Vol 5’: Blue Heron / Scott Metcalfe (Blue Heron) Explore the recording
Brahms Piano Pieces, Opp 76, 117 & 118: Arcadi Volodos (Sony Classical) Explore the recording
(Sponsored by IDAGIO)
Ravel Daphnis et Chloé: Ensemble Aedes; Les Siècles / François-Xavier Roth (Harmonia Mundi) Explore the recording
‘Agitata’: Delphine Galou; Accademia Bizantina / Ottavio Dantone (Alpha Classics) Explore the recording
(Sponsored by Mrs Joan Jones)
‘Secrets’: Marianne Crebassa; Fazıl Say (Erato) Explore the recording