In the Name of Classical: St. Louis and Seattle Symphonies, Pierre Boulez, Jason Vieaux and More Take Home Grammys in 2015
While some high contenders in the mainstream battled it out last night for a much-desired Grammy, some of the other winners were unintentionally swept under the rug. For the classical genre, though, some artists made out quite well. They included the St. Louis and Seattle symphonies, Pierre Boulez, Jason Vieaux and more.
First, the St. Louis Symphony, conducted by David Robertson, took home the Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance for its recording of John Adams's latest scores: City Noir and the Saxophone Concert. For Adams, the album comes as the second win in three years for an orchestral recording.
Second, the Seattle Symphony, which was nominated for six awards, took home one for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for its recording of John Luther Adams's Become Ocean. The work was inspired by the effect of climate change on the Pacific Ocean, which receieved its premiere by the SSO under Ludovic Morlot in 2013.
Last year, too, it won the Pulitzer Prize for music.
Violinist Hilary Hahn and pianist Cory Smythe shared a Best Chamber Music Grammy for 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores, a two-disc set of 27 short, diverse pieces commission by the violinist herself. Hahn noted in her acceptance speech that the project was a decade in the making.
The Boston Early Music Festival's recording of Charpentier's La Descente D'Orphée Aux Enfers won the Best Opera Recording Grammy. The 17th-century chamber opera, which centers around the Orpheus myth, represented, as WQXR put it, a particular challenge the performers and producers have left unfinished.
For Best Classical Solo Vocal Album, mezzo-soprano Annie Sofie von Otter took home the Grammy and Jason Vieaux's collection of Latin and Spanish pieces for guitar, Play, won Best Classical Instrumental Solo.
Best Engineered Album, Classical was presented to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chrous for its all-Vaughn Williams album and the Austin, Texas, group Conspirare won Best Choral Performance for "The Sacred Spirit of Russia."
Finally, the major golden grammphone that is the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to 26-time Grammy winning composer and conductor Pierre Boulez.
But, aside from the major awards, curiosity surrounded the Best Classical Compendium Grammy, given to American eccentric composer and inventor Harry Partch.
Until next time, Classicalites, here is Boulez below: