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MTT's triple-winning Mahler Eighth

The Grammys 2010

This year's Grammys, presented in Los Angeles last night, offered an eclectic and at times surprising line-up of winners. The overall prize, the Best Classical Album, went to Michael Tilson Thomas's SFSO Mahler Eighth, a recording which also took the Award for the Best Engineered Album and the Choral award. The Orchestral category was secured by James Levine's Boston Symphony disc of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé on the orchestra's own label.

James Jolly
La Clemenza di Tito opens the renovated Teatro San Carlo (credit: Francesco Sque

Naples opera house reopens after spectacular renovation

The Teatro San Carlo, Naples's historic opera house, formally opened its doors to the public after restructuring work with a performance of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito yesterday evening, the 254th anniversary of the composer's birth. A capacity audience of 1400, including the Italian president Giorgio Napolitano, witnessed the austere but elegant spectacle of Luca Ronconi's production, conducted by the theatre's current musical director Jeffrey Tate, with Gregory Kunde in the title role.

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Elina Garanca received the Artist of the Year (Vocalist) award (photo: Y-COATSAL

Midem Classical Awards announced

The Midem Classical Awards were presented at a gala event in Cannes last night and were broadcast live from the Palais des Féstivals by radio stations in France, Luxembourg, Russia and Poland. The Canadian mezzo Marie-Nicole Lemieux and Gramophone 's editor-in-chief James Jolly hosted the event which featured live music played by Sinfonietta Cracovia conducted by John Axelrod. Joining the orchestra were singers Christian Gerhaher and Elina Garanca.

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Lang Lang signs to Sony (photo: Philip Glaser)

Gramophone exclusive: Lang Lang signs to Sony

Chinese pianist Lang Lang has signed to Sony Music. The 27-year-old moves from Deutsche Grammophon, the label he joined in 2003. In the years since, his virtuoso talent and media appeal have propelled him to the status of one of classical music’s highest-profile stars, not least in China where he has become a figurehead for the country’s burgeoning enthusiasm for classical music.

Martin Cullingford
Earl Wild performing at Carnegie Hall

The great pianist Earl Wild has died

Earl Wild was one of the greatest pianists in history. In many ways he may be said to be unique. His omnivorous repertoire took in the works of more composers than almost any other pianist – from Buxtehude, Bach and Mozart through all the great pianist-composers of the 19th century (and a few more besides) to Hindemith, Copland, Menotti, Creston and Gould.

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Anne Sofie von Otter joins Naïve (credit: Mats Bäcker)

Anne Sofie von Otter joins Naïve

Anne Sofie von Otter has signed a deal with French label Naïve. The Swedish mezzo-soprano leaves Deutsche Grammophon, which this month releases her album of Baroque arias, entitled “Ombre de mon amant”, on its Archiv label. Von Otter’s first album for Naïve will be a jazz collaboration with Brad Mehldau, including jazz standards, jazz versions of Beatles songs and some pieces specially composed for her by Mehldau. The programme will be based on repertoire which can be heard at Wigmore Hall on June 2.

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The Sixteen and Harry Christophers (photo: John Bertalot)

The Sixteen launch their 10th anniversary Choral Pilgrimage

The Sixteen, directed by Harry Christophers, will be setting out on The Choral Pilgrimage in February, a tour that takes in cathedrals and churches throughout England, Wales and Scotland. The programme features three leading Tudor composers, William Byrd, Thomas Tallis and John Sheppard. As Christophers says in his introduction to the Pilgrimage "All three composers lived through decades of religious turmoil in sixteenth-century England and expressed in different ways their devotion to the Catholic faith."

James Jolly
Simone Dinnerstein (photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco)

Simone Dinnerstein signs to Sony

Simone Dinnerstein, who rocketed to fame in 2007 with her Goldberg Variations recording for which she had raised the money herself, has been signed by Sony Classical. The New York-based pianist was previously signed to Telarc, who released both the Bach and her follow-up disc “The Berlin Concert”. Both recordings reached No 1 on the US Billboard Classical chart.

Martin Cullingford
Otmar Suitner, who has died aged 87 (photo: Staatsoper Unter den Linden/Archiv)

Conductor Otmar Suitner has died, aged 87

Otmar Suitner, one of the unsung masters of the baton, died in Berlin on January 8 at the age of 87. The Austrian conductor could seduce his listeners with his elegant, warm-hearted Mozart or inspire awe with his handling of a Bruckner symphony, and happily for us he left fine recordings of both. Suitner studied piano at the Innsbruck Conservatory and, during the Second World War, at the Salzburg Mozarteum. He also studied under Clemens Krauss, whose feeling for precisely the “right” phrase or tempo was an obvious influence.

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Yundi signs to EMI

Yundi signs to EMI for Chopin marathon

The Chinese pianist Yundi, formerly known as Yundi Li, has signed an exclusive recording contract with EMI. The contract embraces recordings of Chopin’s complete solo piano works and the first disc, to be issued in March, will be of the complete Nocturnes. Yundi, who made a number of well-received recordings for DG, shot to prominence when he won the 14th International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 2000 – he was the first pianist in 15 years to be awarded the First Prize and, at 18, also the youngest.

James Jolly

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© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2017