Viewing figures show that 1.8 million people watched the 15th ECHO Klassik awards at a major gala event in the packed Semperoper in Dresden last night (Oct 18).

The ZDF TV station achieved a market share of 8.2% with its "ECHO der Stars," shown at 10 pm two hours after the event.

"We are very pleased with this good result. This year's rating success and the enthusiasm of the award winners and artists attending underpin the importance of ECHO Klassik as one of the most important music awards in the world", said Daniel Knöll, ECHO Klassik project manager at the Bundesverband Musikindustrie e.V. (BVMI) today in Berlin.

International classic stars, including tenor Plácido Domingo, who won the lifetime achievement award, mezzosoprano Elina Garanca (female singer of the year), baritone Christian Gerhaher (male singer of the year), violonist Anne-Sophie Mutter (female instrumentalist of the year) and pianist David Fray (male instrumentalist of the year), delighted the audience at the Semperoper.

Other winners included trumpet player Wolfgang Bauer (male instrumentalist of the year), Sax Allemande (chamber music recording of the year), Classica Cubana (classic without borders), chello player Sol Gabetta (concert recording of the year) and harpist Xavier De Maistre (instrumentalist of the year)

Christina Pluhar and L'Arpeggiata (classic without borders) presented a piece from their award-winning recording together with Nuria Rial (young female artist of the year) and the star countertenor and last year's ECHO Klassik singer, Philippe Jaroussky. The award winners were accompanied by the Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Fabio Luisi, which this year won the ECHO Klassik in the orchestra of the year category.

ZDF news anchorman Claus Kleber, Klassik Radio Head Moderator Holger Wemhoff and South African star violinist Daniel Hope supported the hosting duo Natalia Wörner and Götz Alsmann in the presentation of the ECHO trophies.

The ECHO Klassik is awarded by a jury, which bases its decisions both on artistic quality and commercial success.

"The ECHO Klassik reflects both the opinion of critics and the appreciation of music buyers. The ECHO award winners are selected by a jury comprising outstanding celebrities from the world of politics, culture and the media as well as the Classic Working Group of the Bundesverband Musikindustrie", said chairman Prof. Dieter Gorny.

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