Given the media coverage of the 56th annual Grammy Awards, held in Los Angeles on Sunday 26 January, one could be forgiven for thinking the ceremony focused purely on pop music — but a number of classical string players were also honoured by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences with its iconic golden trophy.
Despite more than a year of contract disputes, the Minnesota Orchestra under then principal conductor Osmo Vänskä received the award for Best Orchestral Performance for their recording of Sibelius Symphonies nos.1 and 4 on Bis. Best Classical Instrumental Solo went to percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and the Albany Symphony for their recording of John Corigliano’s Conjurer – Concerto for Percussion and String Orchestra on Naxos, while Midori’s Ondine recording of Hindemith’s Violin Concerto with the NDR Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach received the award for Best Classical Compendium.
Midori’s album was reviewed as a Recommended Disc in The Strad’s December 2013 issue, described by Julian Haylock as a ‘soaring, meticulously balanced live performance, throughout which she strikes an ideal balance between radiant charm and exquisite micro-inflections of dynamic and phrase’. Read the full review here.
Some 94 years after her death, the American violinist Maud Powell (1867–1920) was also honoured with a Lifetime Achievement award for her ‘creative contribution and artistic significance to the field of recording’. She was the first American violinist to achieve international recognition and was regarded in Europe and America as the foremost woman violinist in the world.
Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders