By Jacob Stockinger
Some of the names are probably familiar, such as conductor Claudio Abbado (below top) and pianist Murray Perahia (below middle), who won in a new category, and pianist Leif Ove Andsnes (below bottom) in chamber music. Pianist Maurizio Pollini won in the historical category for his very early set of the complete Chopin etudes. You night also recognize the name of singer Danielle de Niese, who has performed in Madison at the Wisconsin Union Theater, as has Perahia.
But some other names are new or unfamiliar to many such as the Maltese tenor Joseph Callejo (below), the young British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, violinist Isabelle Faust, composer Eric Whitacre and the record label Naïve.
The Ear thinks he detects something of an English bias in the choice of winners — artists, labels, repertoire — but that is an old observation or, to some, an accusation. Besides, the Grammy Awards (below) certainly often seems to favor US artists and labels.
Not for nothing is it called the Recording Industry on both sides of the Atlantic.
Anyway, reading about these awards is one of the good ways to spend just a little time catching up on the global classical music scene and what is new and noteworthy in it. And holiday gift-gifting is just around the corner.
Here is link to an introductory story:
And here is a link to the list of winners — with lots of links and audio samples — by categories and to FREE sample downloads available through iTunes:
And here is a link to a story about the awards on NPR’s “Deceptive Cadence” blog. It offers background and names of the winners upfront, along with some audio samples from the winning recordings: