The 2020 Gramophone Classical Music Awards—presented in collaboration with Apple Music, E. Gutzwiller & Cie, Banquiers and Help Musicians UK—held an outdoor and virtual ceremony on the evening of October 6. The ceremony can still be viewed online at Youtube.
During the ceremony, recipients of the Recording of the Year Award, Artist and Young Artist of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Concept Album, Label of the Year, and more were revealed. These winners had been chosen by the 40 plus reviewers who write for the respected British monthly, Gramophone Magazine. Also announced the only Gramophone Classical Music Award voted for by the public: Orchestra of the Year.
The 2020 Orchestral & Recording of the Year featured Symphonies Nos. 2 and 21 of recently rediscovered Polish-Jewish composer Mieczyław Weinberg. The award winning recording was made by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with maestra Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and violin soloist Gidon Kremer (Deutsche Grammophon, May 2019).
This is one of those recordings that feels like an event in its own right… the concentrated intensity of its great climaxes, the heart-searching tenderness of the solo and ensemble playing, and the way that Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla shapes the six huge movements into a long-range argument of overwhelming purpose and conviction.
—reviewer Richard Bratby, writing of Weinberg’s Symphony No 21
Additional Polish musicians were recognized with this prestigious award in other of this year’s recording categories. Benjamin Grosvenor’s performance of the two Piano Concertos of Frédéric Chopin— Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11 and Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21—with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra led by maestra Elim Chan (Decca, February 2020) won the Concerto category. Young Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński is featured on the award-garnering recording of Handel’s Agrippina (Erato, January 2020) that took the Opera category.
[Sources: press release, gramophone.co.uk]