After a couple of glasses of fizz, we began the awards ceremony. Oliver Condy, Editor of BBC Music Magazine, hobbled on stage to open proceedings, explaining how crowd-surfing at a Couperin-fuelled rave was the cause of his broken ankle a month before. Oliver then introduced his co-presenter Sara Mohr-Pietsch, (standing in for James Naughtie), and things got underway. See below for a summary of winners.
We were especially delighted to attend to see our client, Accentus Music, pick up the Best DVD Award. Paul Smaczny, Director of Accentus Music and producer of the winning release of Berg’s Wozzeck was there to accept the award. He gave his heartfelt thanks to his team, and read the following from soloist Christian Gerhaher: “I feel so incredibly satisfied that this Wozzeck production, which was—and every director should please forgive me—the most exhilarating in my life, receives the greatest acclamation. The result of visualising this extraordinary staging in that simple but nearly fully conveying way is just admirable. It brings to life the wonderful months that we and the audience spent with Berg’s masterwork one and half years ago. I would definitely call this a defining criterion of opera DVDs. Thank you all!”
Special guest presenters included all-round fahionista and style guru, Gok Wan, who recently released his own curated album of opera entitled ‘Gok’s Divas’. Comedian Alastair McGowan tickled the audience with a series of stunning impressions and tenuous puns, before presenting Best Instrumental Award to Mahan Esfahani for his recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. With his customary loud-mouth, Mahan gave an impassioned and thoughtful acceptance speech, leaving us with a call to action: ‘Extend classical music, and it will be limitless in what it gives back to you.’
Dame Joan Bakewell, who presented the Recording of the Year Award offered a thought-provoking address on the great value the BBC has in the classical music world, and the impact it had on her own appreciation of music. She announced the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic with Vasily Petrenko performing Tchaikovsky Symphonies as Recording of the Year.
Throughout the evening, a number of references were made to the Proms Launch, which takes place today. BBC Radio 3 Controller, Alan Davey, slightly let the cat out of the bag when he said there would be lots of concerts in a big round hall. Unfortunately, we can’t confirm this at the moment, but watch this space.
Vocal Award Matthias Goerne, Synergy Vocals, BBC SO, Josep Pons
Opera Award Mozart Don Giovanni, MusicAeterna, Teodor Currentzis
Chamber Music Award Martinu Piano Trios, Smetana Trio
Orchestral Award Tchaikovsky Symphonies, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Vasily Petrenko, Onyx
Instrumental Award Bach Goldberg Variations, Mahan Esfahani, Deutsche Grammophon
DVD Award Berg Wozzeck, Christian Gerhaher, Opernhaus Zurich, Accentus Music
Newcomer Award Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky Piano Concertos, Beatrice Rana, Antonio Pappano, Orchestra Dell-Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia
Concerto Award CPE Bach Cello Concertos, Nicolas Altstaedt, Jonathan Cohen, Arcangelo, Hyperion
Premiere Award Julian Anderson, Vladimir Jurowski, Carolin Widmann, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir
Choral Award Jonathan Harvey, Deo, The Choir of St John’s College Cambridge, Andrew Nethsingha, Signum Records
Record of the Year Award Tchaikovsky Symphonies, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Vasily Petrenko, Onyx
Many congratulations from all of us at WildKat PR to Accentus Music, and all the other winners! We’re looking forward to next year’s awards already.
(Written on April 20, 2017 )