Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro," conducted by Rene Jacobs and released by French indie label Harmonia Mundi, was named record of the year at the Gramophone Awards, which annually honor classic

Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro," conducted by Rene Jacobs and released by French indie label Harmonia Mundi, was named record of the year at the Gramophone Awards, which annually honor classical recordings. The winners were announced today (Oct. 1) at a ceremony in London.

"The Marriage of Figaro" was among six recordings on a short-list picked by British magazine Gramophone. The award for record of the year is voted on by Gramophone critics and an academy of retailers, journalists and broadcasters.

Other Gramophone Awards winners included Deutsche Grammophon-signed Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena, who was named artist of the year; the London Symphony Orchestra, which won the lifetime achievement award; and Deutsche Grammophon's Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, who picked up the Classic FM listener's choice award, voted on by the British national commercial broadcaster.

A special achievement award was presented to retiring EMI Classics president Peter Alward for his outstanding contribution to classical music on record. The award was presented by the British Phonographic Industry.

Presenting Alward with the award, BPI executive chairman Peter Jamieson said he has been "a guiding light" at EMI for 34 years and praised him for his "depth and integrity."

The honor for label of the year went to Cleveland-based Telarc, "for its commitment to a wide range of classical music, its excellence in sound recording and its embracing of new technologies," according to Gramophone editor James Jolly.

Accepting the award, Telarc co-founder Jack Renner said it was "gratifying that an English-speaking country valued classical music so highly."