57th Annual GRAMMY Awards (New Music) Winners

Let’s take a look at 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards classical music winners, and specifically the new music winners, shall we? Let’s start with:

Lifetime Achievement Award

Pierre Boulez

Pierre Boulez (photo credit: A. Warme-Janville)

Pierre Boulez received a Lifetime Achievement Award, along with the Bee Gees, Buddy Guy, George Harrison, Flaco Jiménez, Louvin Brothers, and Wayne Shorter. Quite a list.

They also mispronounced his last name. Don’t make the same mistake and hear how it is pronounced in French.

Best Orchestral Performance

Adams, John: City Noir
David Robertson, conductor (St. Louis Symphony)
Label: Nonesuch
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Best Opera Recording

Some fantastic musicians but no new music here:

Charpentier: La Descente D’Orphée Aux Enfers
Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, conductors; Aaron Sheehan; Renate Wolter-Seevers, producer (Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble; Boston Early Music Festival Vocal Ensemble)
Label: CPO

Two other contenders were not that recent either:

Milhaud: L’Orestie D’Eschyle (1913-1927)
Kenneth Kiesler, conductor; Dan Kempson, Jennifer Lane, Tamara Mumford, Sidney Outlaw, Lori Phillips & Brenda Rae; Tim Handley, producer (University Of Michigan Percussion Ensemble & University Of Michigan Symphony Orchestra; University Of Michigan Chamber Choir, University Of Michigan Orpheus Singers, University Of Michigan University Choir & UMS Choral Union)
Label: Naxos

Schönberg: Moses Und Aron (1932)
Sylvain Cambreling, conductor; Andreas Conrad & Franz Grundheber; Reinhard Oechsler, producer (SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden Und Freiburg; EuropaChorAkademie)
Label: Hänssler Classic

Best Choral Performance

The Sacred Spirit Of Russia
Craig Hella Johnson, conductor (Conspirare)
Label: Harmonia Mundi

Missed opportunity for Torbjørn Dyrud (b. 1974) and his Out of Darkness.

Vivianne Sydnes, conductor (Erlend Aagaard Nilsen & Geir Morten Øien; Sarah Head & Lars Sitter; Nidaros Cathedral Choir)
Label: 2L (Lindberg Lyd)
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Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance

Probably one of the biggest successes for new music is Hilary Hahn’s Encores.

In her own words: ““My initial goal was to expand the encore genre to embrace works of different styles.” She did so successfully by commissioning over two dozen composers to write short-form pieces for acoustic violin and piano.

The 27 commissioned composers are Antón García Abril, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Lera Auerbach, Richard Barrett, Mason Bates, Tina Davidson, David Del Tredici, Avner Dorman, Du Yun, Søren Nils Eichberg, Christos Hatzis, Jennifer Higdon, James Newton Howard, Bun-Ching Lam, David Lang, Paul Moravec, Nico Muhly, Michiru Oshima, Kala Ramnath, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Max Richter, Somei Satoh, Elliott Sharp, Valentin Silvestrov, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Gillian Whitehead, and Jeff Myers.


In 27 Pieces – The Hilary Hahn Encores
Hilary Hahn & Cory Smythe
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
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Best Classical Instrumental Solo

This is Vieaux’s first Grammy nomination and win. Released on Azica Records in January 2014, the album celebrates Jason Vieaux’s 20th anniversary as a performer by featuring the Spanish, Mexican, South American, Cuban, French, and American classics that Vieaux has found to be universal audience favorites over the past two decades.

The music includes showpieces by Barrios, Sagreras, Bustamante, and Sainz De La Maza, Tárrega’s classics Recuerdos de la Alhambra and Capricho Arabe, Vieaux’s own in-demand arrangement of Duke Ellington’s In A Sentimental Mood, and Andrew York’s popular Sunburst.


Jason Vieaux
Label: Azica Records
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Also nominated were Leon Fleisher’s All The Things You Are (read our interview of Fleisher), and the Seattle Symphony’s (Ludovic Morlot, conductor) Dutilleux: Tout Un Monde Lointain.


All The Things You Are
Leon Fleisher
Label: Bridge Records, Inc.
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Dutilleux: Tout Un Monde Lointain
Xavier Phillips; Ludovic Morlot, conductor (Seattle Symphony)
Track from: Dutilleux: Symphony No. 1; Tout Un Monde Lointain; The Shadows Of Time
Label: Seattle Symphony Media
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Best Classical Solo Vocal Album

Douce France
Anne Sofie Von Otter; Bengt Forsberg, accompanist (Carl Bagge, Margareta Bengston, Mats Bergström, Per Ekdahl, Bengan Janson, Olle Linder & Antoine Tamestit)
Label: Naïve

Vo Otter performs melodies from the golden age of French mélodie, as well as more contemporary (as in recent) chansons.

Best Classical Compendium


Partch: Plectra & Percussion Dances
Partch; John Schneider, producer
Label: Bridge Records, Inc.
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Best Contemporary Classical Composition

A glorious new music victory! Pulitzer-prize winning composer John Luther Adams’s release on Cantaloupe Music! Read our interview with Ludovic Morlot, Seattle Symphony’s music director, as he was about to conduct the NY premiere.

John Luther Adams: Become Ocean [CD + DVD]

John Luther Adams: Become Ocean [CD + DVD]

Adams, John Luther: Become Ocean
John Luther Adams, composer (Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony)
Label: Cantaloupe Music
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What do you think of these results?

Do you think that new opera or new vocal music were represented enough? I don’t. Let’s hear what you think in the comments below.