Label of the Year winner, Warner Classics, was represented by the label’s President, Alain Lanceron and Head of Classics UK, Patrick Lemanski, who collected the award from Gramophone’s Editor Martin Cullingford. In their citation, James Jolly and Martin Cullingford said: “Nurturing new artists, showing complete belief in them and giving them the devoted commitment they need to become tomorrow’s greats; honouring recording’s heritage with beautiful presentation and bringing it alive for a new generation; and continuing that golden tradition in our own day, with a no-expense-spared studio opera drawing on the talents of today’s leading artists: these are three facets of Warner Classics that come together to make them a worthy winner of our 2016 Label of the Year Award.”
Alain Lanceron, accepted the award and commented “Who would have thought in 2012, when the catalogues of EMI and Virgin were sold to Warner in an unstable climate, that four years later the label Warner Classics would receive the prestigious and coveted accolade of Gramophone Label of the Year? It is the proof that the guiding principles that led us to revive this label, with important new signings alongside deep catalogue exploitation, has borne fruit and that Warner Classics today holds a place in the hearts of classical music lovers all over the world. Thank you to Gramophone for this recognition and to all our artists and the Warner Classics team who make the label what it is today.
Patrick Lemanski, Head of Warner Classics UK, added: “I am absolutely delighted to celebrate together with all my UK Warner Classics team, the prestigious Label of the Year Award from Gramophone. It has been a fantastic year, ranging from ambitious frontline projects such as Pappano’s Aida to the magnificent legacy boxes honouring the talent of music icons like Yehudi Menuhin or Itzhak Perlman. I’m really pleased and proud to see all these efforts recognised and acknowledged by the fair judges at Gramophone magazine”
Other big winners on the night included Sir Antonio Pappano for his studio recording of Verdi’s Aida (“Grand Opera doesn’t get grander than this” Gramophone). The Music Director of the Orchestra Nazionale di Santa Cecilia accepted the award on stage: “I want to thank Stephen Johns (producer) and Jonathan Allen (engineer), and the vision of Alain and his team. Thank you Alain for your continued believe in me and our Santa Cecilia Orchestra and in the power of Giuseppe Verdi who will always knock us dead, every time!”
Concerto category winner Vilde Frang played Tárrega’s Recuerdos de la Alhambra live in front of a captivated audience before accepting her award for the critically acclaimed Korngold and Britten disc on Warner Classics (Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, James Gaffigan). Conductor Raphaël Pichon accepted the Recital award on behalf of the French soprano Sabine Devielehe for their Mozart & the Weber Sisters project on the Erato label.
For the first time, the Gramophone Awards ceremony was streamed live by Medici.TV, with parallel streams on classicfm.com and gramophone.co.uk. A celebratory Awards CD featuring full tracks from each of the winning recordings is available at Amazon.co.uk.
About Warner Classics
Warner Classics is one of the world’s leading global classical music recording companies. Warner Classics and Erato exclusively record some of the finest musicians around the world, including Alison Balsom, Kyung Wha Chung, Joyce DiDonato, Philippe Jaroussky, Emmanuel Pahud, Sir Antonio Pappano, and distinguished organisations like the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. The company boasts an unrivalled catalogue of recordings by international superstars Plácido Domingo, Maxim Vengerov, Nigel Kennedy, Kiri Te Kanawa, Itzhak Perlman, André Previn, Daniel Barenboim, and Riccardo Muti, and the historic recordings of Mstislav Rostropovich, Maria Callas, Victoria de los Angeles, Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Jacqueline du Pré, Herbert von Karajan, Otto Klemperer, Sir Adrian Boult, and Sir John Barbirolli, as well as the longest-serving artist in the history of the record industry, violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin.
About Gramophone Classical Music Awards:
The annual Gramophone Classical Music Awards, the world’s most influential classical music prizes, given this year in association with EFG International and the BPI, were launched in 1977 by Gramophone magazine (founded in 1923 by Sir Compton Mackenzie). Available internationally, Gramophone publishes a bespoke edition of the magazine for North America. To celebrate its 90th anniversary, Gramophone’s full archive was made available digitally for iPad and other tablet devices, smartphone or computer. Gramophone’s podcasts are available from iTunes. Unique Gramophone playlists are available on Qobuz and Apple Music.