BBC Music Awards 2023 winners announced
The winners of the 18th annual BBC Music Magazine Awards, in association with Lark Music Insurance, have been announced at a glittering ceremony at Kings Place in London. The BBC Music Magazine Awards are the only classical music recording awards in which the main categories are voted for by the public.
BBC Music Awards 2023 winners announced
Tutta sola, violinist Rachel Podger’s beautiful survey of works by Bach, Matteis, Vilsmayr, Westhoff and Tartini, has been awarded the Instrumental Award and the most prestigious trophy of the evening – Recording of the Year. Praised for its ‘explorative sense of excited discovery’, the album seeks to unearth the works that inspired JS Bach’s solo violin Sonatas and Partitas.
‘For so many violinists, the Sonatas and Partitas exist in a vacuum,’ says Podger, ‘so I think this project had the potential to be eye opening. These violinist-composers certainly put themselves through their paces, constantly experimenting and trying to show what their instrument could do.’
Charlotte Smith, editor of BBC Music Magazine, adds: ‘Tutta sola presents a fascinating snapshot of rarely performed violin repertoire. The product of intense research and collaboration, the album places Bach in much-needed context, recognising the great skill and innovation of his forebears and contemporaries.’
This year’s Personality of the Year Award goes to a charismatic conductor of exceptional versatility – Dalia Stasevska. Chief conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Stasevska has also devoted herself in the past year to supporting her Ukrainian countrymen both on and off the podium.
Where is Home, mercurial South African cellist Abel Selaocoe’s debut recording of works by JS Bach and Platti, alongside his own compositions, has won the Newcomer Award. This arresting recording showcases Selaocoe’s talents as a cellist, vocalist, composer and communicator.
The Vocal Award has gone to mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston for the outstanding Battle Cry: She Speaks, featuring works by Purcell, Eccles, Strozzi, Monteverdi and Owain Park, performed with theorboist Toby Carr. Charlston shines in gloriously expressive performances, as she channels Baroque heroines and tragediennes like Boudica, Ariadne and Dido.
This year’s Orchestral Award goes to Volume 3 in the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra’s dynamic series of works by Bacewicz conducted by Agnieszka Duczmal; while the Choral Award goes to a ‘luminously beautiful’ recording of Handel’s Theodora, performed by Lisette Oropesa, Joyce DiDonato and the Il Pomo d’Oro Choir conducted by Maxim Emelyanychev.
The Chamber Award goes to clarinettist Martin Fröst’s thrilling Night Passages, featuring works by Bach, Scarlatti, Handel, Rameau, Rodgers and Corea, and performed with bassist Sébastien Dubé and pianist Roland Pöntinen; and the Concerto Award has been awarded to Eclipse, a captivating album of violin concertos by Dvořák and Ginastera, alongside Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy, wonderfully performed by soloist Hilary Hahn with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada.
The Opera Award goes to German composer John F Lampe’s 18th-century spoof of Italian opera The Dragon of Wantley, featuring Mary Bevan, Catherine Carby and The Brook Street Band under the baton of John Andrews.
Finally, the Premiere Award goes to violinist Fenella Humphreys’ highly innovative Caprices, including works by Tom Coult, Oliver Leith, Freya Waley-Cohen, Laurence Osborne, Roxanna Panufnik and Seonaid Aitken.
The winners of the 2023 Awards were announced at a live ceremony at London’s Kings Place, hosted by BBC Music Magazine editor Charlotte Smith and Radio 3 presenter Tom Service, and featured live performances from several award winners, including Recording of the Year winner Rachel Podger, Vocal Award winner Helen Charlston, and Premiere Award winner Fenella Humphreys.
Catch up with the action on the magazine’s website at www.classical-music.com/awards, on Twitter (#BBCMMAwards) and in the June 2023 issue of BBC Music Magazine (on sale from 16 May).