The final winners of Germany's 18th annual Echo Classical Music Awards Echo have been announced. Among the 58 award-winners in 21 categories are Italian soprano Cecilia Bartoli, Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón, British pianist Murray Perahia and the Vienna Philharmonic.
The awards are presented by the Deutsche Phonoakademie, the cultural institute of the German Music Industry Association (BVMI).
The conductor Zubin Metha will receive a lifetime achievement ECHO award at this year's ceremony in Berlin. In a statement Metha said: "I am very honored to get this award and am looking forward to the ceremony."
The winners were chosen by a jury of eleven and included a member of the ZDF TV network and a member of the BVMI. Three-hundred CD-releases from 64 record-companies were sent to the jury for consideration.
The award presentation on Oct. 2 will be held at the Concerthaus in Berlin and hosted by the German entertainer Thomas Gottschalk and will be shown on ZDF.
Performing live at this year's Echo awards are Thomas Hampson, Simone Kermes, Zubin Metha, Vilde Fang, Bejun Mehta, Rolando Villazon, Yuja Wang and Vittorio Grigolo.
José Antonio Abreu, founder of the Venezuela youth orchestra organization will receive a special ECHO award and piano-player Lang Lang will get the ECHO award in the category "Bestseller of the Year " for his production " Live in Vienna".
Female singer of the year is the German soprano Simone Kermes while male singer of the year is U.S. baritone Thomas Hampson. Among the honored instrumentalists is violinist Lisa Batiashvili and German guitarist Frank Bungarten. Other winners include the conductor Andris Nelsons from Lativa, the German soprano Diana Damrau, the U.S. contra-tenor Bejun Mehta and US violinist Hilary Hahn.
This year's Young Talents prize is surprisingly large with nine awards. The jury in a statement: "There are so many young talents in great demand that we decided to promote them." Among the winners are singer Vittorio Grigolo, the Norwegian female violonist Vilde Frang, German clarinet player Sebastian Manz and Spain oboist Ramón Ortega Quero.
Eligible recording nominees had to be released between January 1st 2010 and March 31st 2011 and needed to have two outstanding critics by music journalists.
Click here for ithe full list of the winners of the 2011 Echo Classical Music awards.