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Gramophone Classical Music Awards Announces 2023 Winners

A range of soloists, ensembles, and labels were recognized for their work over the past year, including VC Artists Stella Chen and Timothy Ridout

Launched in 1977, the Gramophone Classical Music Awards is held every year to recognize the work of exceptional solo artists, ensembles, and record labels that have contributed significantly to the classical recording industry.

In its centenary year, Gramophone magazine hosted the awards ceremony in London on October 4, announcing the winners chosen from its 2023 shortlist.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to one of the UK’s most beloved sopranos, Dame Felicity Lott. Honoring her illustrious career of performing and a discography of more than 100 recordings, the award acknowledged her interpretations of the great operatic roles of Mozart and Strauss and her dedication to introducing a new generation to the art form as a founder member of Graham Johnson’s Songmaker’s Almanac.

Recording of Year went to Fabio Luisi and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Nielsen’s Symphonies Nos 4 & 5 on Deutsche Grammophon.

Celebrating her "supreme reign over French opera and song," French soprano Véronique Gens was awarded Artist of the Year.

American violinist and VC Artist Stella Chen became Young Artist of the Year, which recognizes extraordinary youthful talent and promise for the future. The Award reflected her rise after winning First Prize at the 2019 Queen Elizabeth Competition and her recent celebrated album ‘Stella x Schubert’ album on Platoon. Stella also performed at the ceremony, joining the London Mozart Players in Mozart’s Rondo in C, K373.

The only award to be voted on by the public, the Orchestra of the Year, went to the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. Artistic Director Paavo Järvi thanked the public for their support in a video acceptance speech, as well as his colleagues at the Orchestra.

Swedish label BIS received the Label of the Year which just celebrated its 50th year. Collected by BIS founder Robert von Bahr, he said “I’m humbled – I’ve hoped for this for many, many years and it’s finally come true.”

The Concept Album Award was given to British mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston and theorbo-player Toby Carr for their album ‘Battle Cry: She Speaks’ — a collection of modern and 16th and 17th century works that revisit and rebalance the obsession of early music with female abandonment and lament.

In the category awards, British violist and VC Artist Timothy Ridout won the Concerto Award for his recording of Elgar’s ‘Viola Concerto’ — a rarely-performed arrangement of the composer’s classic Cello Concerto for viola by Lionel Tertis — which was recorded with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins.

The Opera Award went to the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s recording of Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage under Edward Gardner, which was the first commercially available recording of the work in 50 years.

The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra’s album of works by composer Lotta Wennäkoski under Nicholas Collon won the Contemporary category, while Krystian Zimerman’s recording of piano works by Szymanowski won the Piano category and Nurit Stark’s collection of Hungarian music for solo violin and viola won the Instrumental category.

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