We are immensely proud to announce that a number of Askonas Holt artists have won prestigious ECHO KLASSIK Awards. Many congratulations to Christiane Karg and Jonathan Cohen, Vilde Frang, Franco Fagioli, Sergey Khachatryan, Ludovic Tézier and Sir Simon Rattle!
Edit, 9 September: It has been announced that the innovative adaptation of Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’ performed by the Bundesjugendorchester and conducted by Alexander Shelley has been awarded the ECHO Klassik Award for Classical Music for Children. Read more.
Solo Recording/Voice (Arias/recitals) – Christiane Karg ‘Scene!’ with Jonathan Cohen & Arcangelo [Berlin Classics (Edel)]
This is Christiane Karg’s second prestigious ECHO KLASSIK Award, having won New Artist of the Year in 2010. This year her award was given for her recently released disc of concert arias “Scene!” with Jonathan Cohen and Arcangelo. The disc has already received widespread critical acclaim and was chosen as Gramophone magazine’s Editor’s Choice; after listening to the recording The Sunday Times said she is “the outstanding light lyric soprano of her generation – unrivalled in Mozart’s and Strauss’ “soubrette” roles, and a lieder interpreter second to none”.
Opera Recording (17th/18th Century) – Vinci’s ‘Catone in Utica’ starring Franco Fagioli with Il Pomo d’Oro and Riccardo Minasi [Decca (Dt. Grammophon)]
Askonas Holt’s latest signing, star countertenor Franco Fagioli, sings the role of Cesare in this world premiere recording of Vinci’s ‘Catone in Utica’. Franco recently become the first countertenor to sign an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon and his relationship with the Yellow Label reflects his status as one of the brightest stars of Baroque and early 19th-century bel canto opera. His solo debut recording for the company, Rossini arias with Armonia Atenea and George Petrou, will be released in the autumn.
Concerto Recording (20th/21st Century) – Vilde Frang ‘Britten/Korngold: Violinkonzerte’ with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony James Gaffigan [Warner Classics]
Released in February this year, Vilde Frang’s critically acclaimed recording of Korngold and Britten violin concertos has received much attention, with Gramophone naming it their ‘recording of the month’ as well as shortlisting her for the magazine’s Artist of the Year Award: “A hugely impressive recording, Vilde Frang’s brilliant control and dramatic intensity as assured in the lush themes of Korngold’s Concerto as in the technical extremes of Britten’s”. Awarded 4*’s in the Guardian, Vilde’s sound was described as “… superb – icy, fiery, whispered, ultra-rich – and her phrases pour out fearlessly, urgently. It’s a fresh and convincing performance.”
Chamber Music Recording (20th/21st Century)/Mixed Ensemble – Sergey Khachatryan and Lusine Khachatryan ‘My Armenia’ [Naive (Indigo)]
Dedicated to the 100th Commemoration of the Armenian genocide, ‘My Armenia’ from Sergey and Lusine Khachatryan offers a very personal, touching and brilliant tribute to Armenian music. Released on Naïve in October 2015, Sergey’s playing was heralded as “flawless throughout, while the recording is both well balanced and resonant, and together the siblings’ love for this music shines through.” – The Strad.
Music DVD/Blu-ray Recording (Opera) – Opéra national de Paris ‘La Traviata’ starring Ludovic Tézier [ERATO (Warner Classics)]
Ludovic Tézier stars as Giorgio Germont in Benoît Jacquot’s production of ‘La Traviata’ with Opéra national de Paris, alongside Diana Damrau as Violetta and Francesco Demuro as Alfredo. The DVD and Ludovic’s performance were met with critical acclaim when it was released last year, with Gramophone saying “Ludovic Tézier has class … and captures the contrasting emotions of his three scenes most clearly.” BBC Music Magazine said “best of the principals is Ludovic Tézier’s Giorgio Germont, a distinguished piece of singing and thoughtfully acted.”
Ensemble/Orchestra – Berliner Philharmoniker for ‘Jean Sibelius: Symphonies 1-7’ with Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Sir Simon Rattle [Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings]
The Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle are no strangers to the ECHO KLASSIK awards, having previously received prizes in the Concert Recording of the Year, Choral Recording of the Year, Musical DVD release of the Year, Opera Recording of the Year, World Premiere Recording of the Year and Symphonic Recording of the Year categories. This year, Sir Simon and the Berliner Philharmoniker have been awarded the Ensemble of the Year 2016 prize for their release of the full cycle of Sibelius Symphonies. This collection was released on the orchestra’s in house label in September 2015 and has already received an outstanding reaction: “there is an intensity of character in the Berlin performances (each instrumental section proudly unfurling its unique colors) that no other orchestra can match. The luxury of the sound is almost tactile.” – The Washington Post; “This is a lean, sure-footed performance with a blazing finale. If you love this music, you need to hear this set.” – The Arts Desk.
The ECHO KLASSIK award ceremony will take place in the Konzerthaus on Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt on 9 October. Find out more on their website.
Congratulations to all!