German ECHO Classical Award Winners Announced, To Be Honored October 14
German ECHO Classical Award Winners Announced, To Be Honored October 14

International stars of the world-wide classical music stage are among the 60 winners in 21 categories of the German ECHO Classic awards that will be awarded on October 14 in the Konzerthaus in Berlin. The German TV station ZDF will broadcast the award show on 10 pm the same day.

Among the winners are the US soprano Renee Fleming as singer of the year, English female trumpet player Alison Balsom and Austrian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder as instrumentalists of the year. Further winners are two Italians -- Riccardo Chailly as conductor of the year and Claudio Abbado for opera of the year. Sir Simon Rattle with the Berlin Philharmonics will receive the award for Symphonic recording of the year and German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter with the New York Philharmonic for the Concert recording of the year. The classic award beyond borders goes to US singer Tori Amos, bass tenor Erwin Schrott from Uruguay and the Pera Ensemble with counter tenor Valer Bamer-Sabadamus from Romania.

German ECHO Classical Music Awards Set For October 14

70 labels applied with about 340 works by their artists for the ECHO Classic Awards 2012. The basis for qualification is submission of two outstanding press reviews and the CD. Any record label whose recordings are regulary distributed on the German market and who owns the distribution rights for the recordings of the contending artists is eligible to submit a nomination. To apply for the award it was necessary to have released an album between January 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012.

ECHO Classic prizewinners are determined by a judging panel made up of outstanding personalities from politics, the arts and media and the classical wing of the German music industry association.

Dr. Florian Drücke, managing director of the German association of the phonographic industry (BVMI) told Billboard: "The jury did not have an easy job to choose the winners among such a variety of international and national candidates. The result again shows the diversity of the large spectrum of classical productions that are reaching beyond borders."

"Every year the German Phono Academy honors the outstanding and successful performances of national and international artists with this award. The ECHO Classic was launched in 1994 as an event of its own to do justice to the cultural importance of classical music and to further its popularity," said Prof. Dieter Gorny, chairman of the Phono Academy.

A main objective of ECHO Classic is not only to reward world stars for their musical achievements, but also to promote outstanding young talents with the award. ECHO Classic is awarded by a jury who make their choices based on artistic quality as well as popular success. Said Gorny, "The award of the ECHO Classic therefore not only reflects the opinion of critics but also the appreciation of music consumers."

In 2011 the market of classical music had a share of 7.1 % (2010: 7.5 %) of the whole turnover of 1.67 billion euro of the German music market.

The winners Classical ECHO awards 2012:
Category 1

Female singer of the year:
Renée Fleming "Ravel, Messiaen, Dutilleux: Poèmes" (Decca/Universal)

Category 2
Singer of the year:
Klaus Florian Vogt "Helden" (Sony Classical)

Category 3
Instrumentalist of the year (trumpet):
Alison Balsom "Seraph - Trompetenkonzerte" (EMI Classics)
Instrumentalist of the year (clarinet):
Eduard Brunner "Musik für Solo-Klarinette" (Naxos)
Instrumentalist of the year (piano):
Rudolf Buchbinder "Beethoven: The Sonata Legacy" (RCA Red Seal/Sony)
Instrumentalist of the year (violin):
Isabelle Faust "Berg, Beethoven: Violinkonzerte" (harmonia mundi)
Instrumentalist of the year (organ):
Harald Vogel "J. P. Sweelinck: Orgelwerke Vol.1" (MDG)

Category 4
Conductor of the year:
Riccardo Chailly "Beethoven: The Symphonies" (Decca/Universal)

Category 5
Ensemble of the year (new instruments):
Quatuor Ebène "Mozart: Dissonances" (Virgin Classics/EMI)
Ensemble of the year (historical instruments):
Freiburger Barockorchester "F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Doppelkonzert für Violine & Klavier" (harmonia mundi)
Ensemble of the year (vocal music):
amarcord/Leipziger Streichquartett "Das Lieben bringt groß' Freud!" (MDG)

Category 6
Lifetime Achievement Award:
will be announced later

Category 7
Young talent (singer):
Anna Prohaska "Sirène" (Deutsche Grammophon/Universal)
Young talent (piano):
Khatia Buniatishvili "Franz Liszt" (Sony Classical)
Young talent (guitar):
Miloš Karadaglic "Mediterráneo" (Deutsche Grammophon/Universal)
Young talent (cello):
Julian Steckel "Korngold, Bloch, Goldschmidt: Cello Concertos" (Cavi-Music)
Young talent (conductor):
Vasily Petrenko "Rachmaninoff: Sinfonie 3" (EMI Classics)

Category 8
"Classic without borders" award:
Tori Amos "Night of Hunters" (Deutsche Grammophon/Universal)
Pera Ensemble/Valer Barna-Sabadus "Baroque Oriental" (Berlin Classics/edel)
Erwin Schrott "Rojotango" (Sony Classical)

Category 9:
Symphonic recording of the year (19. century):
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR/Sir Roger Norrington "Elgar: Enigma-Variations" (Hänssler Classic)
Symphonic recording of the year (20./21. century):
Berliner Philharmoniker/Sir Simon Rattle "Schönberg" (EMI Classics)

Category 10
Concert recording of the year (18. century)/piano:
Christian Zacharias/Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne "Mozart: Klavierkonzerte Vol.7" (MDG)
Concert recording of the year (19. century)/cello:
Maximilian Hornung/Bamberger Symphoniker/Sebastian Tewinkel "Saint-Saëns: Suite und Romanze & Dvořák: Cellokonzert" (Sony Classical)
Concert recording of the year (19. century)/piano:
Maurizio Pollini/Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann "Brahms: Klavierkonzert Nr. 1 op. 15" (Deutsche Grammophon/Universal)
Concert recording of the year (19. century)/trumpet:
Guiliano Sommerhalder/Simone Sommerhalder/Roland Fröscher/Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin "A. Ponchielli: Konzerte für Trompete" (MDG)
Concert recording of the year (20./21. century)/violin:
Anne-Sophie Mutter/New York Philharmonic "W. Rihm: Lichtes Spiel & S. Currier: Time Machines" (Deutsche Grammophon/Universal)
Concert recording of the year (20./21. century)/piano:
Jos van Immerseel/Anima Eterna Brugge "Poulenc: Konzert für zwei Klaviere/Concert Champêtre/Suite Française" (ZIG ZAG Territories/note1)

Category 11
Opera recording of the year (17./18. century):
Sonia Prina/Ann Hallenberg/Max Emanuel Cencic/Il Complesso Barocco/Alan Curtis "Gluck: Ezio" (Virgin Classics/EMI)
Opera recording of the year (19. century):
Jonas Kaufmann/Claudio Abbado "Beethoven: Fidelio" (Decca/Universal)
Opera recording of the year (20./21. century):
Solisten, Chor und Extrachor des Theater Bonn/Beethoven Orchester Bonn/Stefan Blunier "F. Schreker: Irrelohe" (MDG)
Opera recording of the year (opera arias & duets):
Philippe Jaroussky/Max Emanuel Cencic/William Christie/Les Arts Florissants "Duetti" (Virgin Classics/EMI)
Nuria Rial/Kammerchor Basel/Julia Schröder "Telemann: Opera Arias" (DHM/Sony)

Category 12
Choir recording of the year (16./17. century):
John Eliot Gardiner "J. C. Bach: Welt, gute Nacht" (Soli Deo Gloria/harmonia mundi)
Choir recording of the year (18./19. century):
Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Münchener Kammerorchester/Peter Dijkstra "Fauré: Requiem" (Sony Classical)
Choir recording of the year (20./21. century):
Coro Nacional de Cuba/Digna Guerra "El canto quiere ser luz" (MDG)
SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart/Rundfunkchor Köln/WDR Sinfonieorchester/Péter Eötvös "Ligeti: Requiem, Apparitions, San Francisco Polyphony" (BMC Records/Codaex)

Category 13:
Chamber music recording of the year (17./18. century)/strings:
Amaryllis Quartett "J. Haydn, A. Webern: Streichquartette" (Genuin)
Chamber music recording of the year (17./18. century)/wind:
Sebastian Manz/Marc Trénel/Herbert Schuch/David Fernández Alonso/Ramón Ortega Quero "Mozart, Beethoven: Quintette für Bläser und Klavier" (Indésens Records/Klassik Center Kassel)
Chamber music recording of the year (19. century)strings:
Joshua Bell/Jeremy Denk "French Impressions" (Sony Classical)
Chamber music recording of the year (19. century)/wind:
Münchner Horntrio "J. Brahms, G. Ligeti, C. Koechlin: Horntrios" (Farao)
Chamber music recording of the year (19. century)/mixed ensemble:
Renaud Capuçon/Gérard Caussé, Gautier Capuçon/ Nicholas Angelich/Michel Dalberto/Quatuor Ebène "Fauré: Sämtliche Kammermusik für Streicher und Klavier" (Virgin Classics/EMI)
Chamber music recording of the year (20./21. century)/mixed ensemble:
Martha Argerich and Friends "Live from Lugano 2010" (EMI Classics)
Chamber music recording of the year (20./21. century)/strings:
Galatea Quartet "Bloch: Landscapes - Music for String Quartet" (Sony Classical)
Chamber music recording of the year (20./21. century)/strings
Hilary Hahn "C. Ives: Vier Sonaten" (Deutsche Grammophon/Universal)

Category 14
Solo recording of the year (17./18. century)/violin:
Rebekka Hartmann "Birth of the Violin" (Solo Musica)
Solo recording of the year (19. century)/piano:
Jin Ju "Beethoven, Czemy, Schubert: Piano Music" (MDG)
Solo recording of the year (20./21. century)/piano
Rafal Blechacz "Debussy - Szymanowski" (Deutsche Grammophon/Universal)

Category 15
Song recording of the year:
Werner Güra "Schubert: Willkommen und Abschied" (harmonia mundi)

Category 16
Editorial work of the year:
Siegbert Rampe "Mozart: Sämtliche Clavierwerke Vol. 12" (MDG)

Category 17
World first recording of the year:
Michala Petri/Danish National Vocal Ensemle/Stephen Layton "The Nightingale" (Our Recordings/Naxos)

Category 18
Classic for kids award:
Ensemble L'Art pour l'Art "Haltbar gemacht" (Nurnichtnur)

Category 19
Surround recording of the year:
Do.Gma Chamber Orchestra/Mikhail Gurewitsch "American Stringbook" (Audiomax/Berthold Records)

Category 20
Music DVD production of the year (Documentation):
Canadian Broadcasting Company "Glenn Gould on Television: The Complete CBC Broadcasts 1954-1977" (Sony Classical)
Music DVD production of the year (Live Recording):
Elmar Kruse "John Neumeier: The Little Mermaid" (C Major)
Music DVD production of the year (Opera):
Ensemble Theater Lübeck "Richard Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen" (Musicaphon/Klassik Center Kassel)