Joyce DiDonato is this year's winner in the Vocal category of the BBC Music Magazine Awards. This is the tenth edition of the awards which are voted for by readers of BBC Music Magazine and classical music lovers around the world. DiDonato won for her album Stella di Napoli.
The Magazine's five-sate review stated,
Joyce DiDonato's love letter to Neapolitan ‘bel canto' is all about the voice, and as her own ‘star' shines brightly, what a voice it proves to be. Vocal pyrotechnics hold no terrors, and her creamy mezzo leaves no nuance unturned. Sensitively accompanied by Riccardo Minasi and his Lyon forces, it's a case of ‘hear Naples…. and live!'.
DiDonato responded to the announcement on her Facebook page:
An enormous thank you to BBC Music Magazine for this beautiful honor. This is one that is particularly meaningful to me since it is voted on by you, the fans.
Not to sound like a broken record, but I'm unspeakably grateful for the opportunity to sing for you all, and particularly in the case of this album, to bring “new” music into your lives. Thank you for listening and sharing!!!
The winners were announced at a ceremony in Kings Place, London. In the Choral category, Sir Andrew Davis won for Elgar's Dream of Gerontius, with Sarah Connolly, Stuart Skelton, David Soar and the BBC Symphony Chorus and Orchestra. Connolly, with pianist Joseph Middleton, offered one of three performances at the Awards ceremony.
Glyndebourne's production of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg won the Opera category, and Becoming Traviata, a behind-the-scenes documentary following Natalie Dessay's transformation into Verdi's heroine, won Best DVD of the Year.
Leif Ove Andsnes won the Recording of the Year and Concerto Awards for his Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 4.
A recording of Bruckner's Ninth Symphony from the final concert given by Claudio Abbado with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra won the orchestral category. A fitting tribute to the late Maestro.
RECORDING OF THE YEAR/CONCERTO
Leif Ove Andsnes (piano, direction); Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 4 (Sony Classical)
Lucerne Festival Orchestra/Claudio Abbado
Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 (Deutsche Grammophon)
Benjamin Grosvenor (piano)
Dances: Albéniz, JS Bach, Chopin, Granados, Scriabin etc (Decca)
Isabelle Faust (violin), Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello) & Alexander Melnikov (piano)
Beethoven: Piano Trios Op. 70 No. 2 & Op. 97 Archduke (Harmonia Mundi)
Joyce DiDonato (mezzo), Orchestra & Choir of Lyon Opera/Riccardo Minasi
Stella di Napoli: bel canto arias (Erato)
Sarah Connolly, Stuart Skelton, David Soar, BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Sir Andrew Davis Elgar: Dream of Gerontius; Sea Pictures (Chandos)
Gerald Finley, Marco Jentzsch, Anna Gabler, Johannes Martin Kränzle Glyndebourne Chorus, London Philharmonic/ Vladimir Jurowski
Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Glyndebourne)
Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord)
CPE Bach: Württemberg Sonatas (Hyperion)
Unsuk Chin: Three Concertos
Sunwook Kim, Alban Gerhardt, Wu Wei, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra/Myung- Whun Chung (Deutsche Grammophon)
Natalie Dessay, Jean-François Sivadier, Louis Langrée etc Dir: Philippe Béziat (Axiom Films)
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.