Violinist Rachel Podger scooped two awards and has been named artist in focus at Kings Place, London


Rachel Podger © Broadway Studios

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The winners of the BBC Music Magazine Awards were announced at Kings Place, London, on 19 April 2023. Star string players secured five awards, including the most prestigious trophy of the evening, Recording of the Year.

Baroque violinist Rachel Podger claimed both the Instrumental Award and Recording of the Year for her album of works by Bach, Matteis, Vilsmayr, Westhoff and Tartini Tutta Sola, on Channel Classics. Podger took to the stage with a performance of a transcription of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor from the album.

‘For so many violinists, the Sonatas and Partitas exist in a vacuum,’ said Podger, ‘so I think this project had the potential to be eye opening. These violinist-composers certainly put themselves through their paces, constantly experimenting and trying to show what their instrument could do.’

Following her victories, Podger has been announced as Kings Place artist in focus for the 2023/24 season. She will perform three concerts as part of her residency exploring well-known masterpieces, rarities and new arrangements of some of Bach’s best loved music. In addition to her Kings Place residency, Podger will also become principal guest director of Tafelmusik for the 2024/25 and 2025/26 seasons.


Rachel Podger with presenters Tom Service and BBC Music Magazine editor Charlotte Smith © Johnny Millar

Cellist Abel Selaocoe won the Newcomer Award for his album Where is Home/ Hae Ke Kae on Warner Classics, which showcases his abilities as a cellist, composer and vocalist.

Violinist Hilary Hahn won the Concerto Award for her Deutsche Grammophon album Eclipse, featuring works by Dvořák, Ginastera and Sarasate.

The Premiere Award went to violinist Fenella Humphreys for her album Caprices on Rubicon, which comprises contemporary and commissioned solo works set around a framework of three of Paganini’s Caprices and Kreisler’s Recitativo and Scherzo-Caprice. Following her performance of a work by Seonaid Aitken, Humphreys took to the podium to thank friends and colleagues, including a former teacher whose insistence that she could not play the Paganini Caprices provided her with the motivation to prove otherwise.

Dalia Stasevska was named Personality of the Year. Chief conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Stasevska was recognised for her humanitarian efforts supporting her home country of Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion.

The Orchestra Award went to the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra for its recording of works by Bacewicz, while the Choral Award went to a recording of Handel’s Theodora performed by Lisette Oropesa, Joyce DiDonato and the Il Pomo d’Oro Choir conducted by Maxim Emelyanychev.

Clarinettist Martin Fröst took the Chamber Award for his recording Night Passages, while mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston won the Vocal Award for Battle Cry:She Speaks, and a recording of The Dragon of Wantley received the Opera Award.

The event was the 18th edition of the awards ceremony, held annually. The BBC Music Magazine Awards are the only classical music recording awards in which the main categories are voted for by the public.

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