Gramophone Awards 2016: our report



Last night, members of the classical music world gathered at St John’s Smith Square in London for the 2016 Gramophone Classical Music Awards ceremony. Amongst those receiving awards were violinist Vilde Frang and the Heath Quartet.

The ceremony was streamed live on medici.tv, and you can watch on demand for the next 60 days here: gramophone.co.uk/awards/2016

As well as the presentation of the twelve category awards and six special awards, the evening featured a series of live performances, two of which featured Askonas Holt artists. First, pianist James Baillieu joined Young Artist of the Year Benjamin Appl on stage to perform Schubert’s ‘Erlkönig’, then – after receiving her Concerto Award – Vilde Frang gave a fantastic performance of Tárrega’s ‘Recuerdos de la Alhambra’.

Accepting her Concerto Award from Catherine Bott, Vilde spoke of her joy at finally realising a passionate dream to combine the Britten and Korngold concertos on one disc, calling them “real crown jewels in the violin repertoire” and thanking Warner Classics for “their faith and help in making [the recording] happen”.

Later in the evening, the Heath Quartet’s Oliver Heath (violin 1) and Christopher Murray (cello) accepted their Chamber Award from Miloš Karadaglić, paying special thanks to John Gilhooly of the Wigmore Hall and their producer and engineer, Jeremy Hayes and Steve Portnoi. Winning the award for their recording of Tippett’s String Quartets, the Heath Quartet told us “The reaction to the CD has been overwhelming, but the biggest honour of all is to receive the Gramophone Chamber Award. We are very proud of our association with this truly amazing composer. Our thanks must go to Wigmore Hall, and to the wonderful audience who created the intense, special atmosphere you can sense in the recording.”

The final category award of the night – the Opera Award – went to Warner Classics’ ‘Aida’, with Ludovic Tézier in the role of Amonaroso. The award was accepted by the recording’s conductor Antonio Pappano, who praised the “magnificent cast” in his acceptance speech.

BBC Radio 3 was presented with Gramophone’s Special Achievement Award and Warner Classics the Label of the Year Award. In his acceptance speech, President of Warner Classics Alain Lanceron paid thanks to the label’s many longstanding collaborators – which includes Emmanuel Pahud, Ian Bostridge and Alison Balsom – saying they are “honoured by the long-term commitments major artists have made to the label”.

A full list of all winners can be found on the Gramophone website.

Watch the full ceremony here.

Photos © Benjamin Ealovega / Gramophone

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