Nominations have been announced for the annual Gramophone Awards. Known as the "Oscars of the classical music world," the Gramophone Awards will take place on Oct. 6 at London's Dorchester Hotel and honor the best international recordings of the last year.
Nominees, chosen from a selection of 646 discs by Gramophone magazine's editorial team and a small band of critics, compete across 15 different categories including best opera, best contemporary recording and best vocal. There's also an Artist of the Year award, chosen by public vote. The magazine produces global editions in China, Russia, South Korea and Spain and has 20,000 subscribers in the U.S.
Among this year's nominees for Artist of the Year are Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons (Deutsche Grammophon), British trumpeter Alison Balsom (EMI) and pianist Mitsuko Uchida (Decca).
Says Gramophone magazine's editor-in-chief James Jolly, "The Gramophone Awards have always demonstrated the 'internationality' of the classical music scene. Our current Artist of the Year, (American mezzo-soprano) Joyce DiDonato will hand over the baton to this year's recipient. As it's an award in the gift of the music-loving public, it could be (Venezuelan conductor) Gustavo Dudamel, (Chinese pianist) Lang Lang or German (tenor) Jonas Kaufmann."
The cachet of the awards is such that winning Artist of the Year can triple or quadruple sales, according to Jolly. Last year's chosen few included Argentinean Sony-signed cellist Sol Gabetta, who scooped Young Artist of the Year and Dutch violinist and conductor André Rieu, who got the Specialist Classical Chart award in honor of his "Forever Vienna" album (Decca) which dominated the charts in 2010.
For a full list of nominations visit www.gramophone.co.uk/awards/2011.