In an major triumph for the string world, jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding beat Justin Bieber – the teenage pop artist with millions of fans worldwide – to win as Best New Artist at the 2011 Grammy Awards. The ceremony took place on 13 February at the Staples Center, Los Angeles.
Elsewhere in the awards, the Parker Quartet won Best Chamber Music Performance with its recording of Ligeti’s String Quartets nos.1 and 2 on the Naxos label, and Eliesha Nelson’s recording of Quincy Porter’s complete viola works for the Dorian Sono Luminus label was joint winner in the category Best Engineered Album, Classical. ?
An in-depth interview with Spalding can be found in the January 2010 issue of The Strad.