Julia Fischer, Nelson Freire, Riccardo Chailly Winners at 2007 Gramophone Awards
By Matthew Westphal
In something of a David-over-Goliath victory, the young violinist Julia Fischer has been named the Classic FM Gramophone Artist of the Year 2007. In online voting co-sponsored by classical radio stations in 13 countries, the 24-year-old native of Munich triumphed over such renowned artists as cellist Steven Isserlis, violinist Vadim Repin, conductors Valery Gergiev and Daniel Barenboim, and opera stars Natalie Dessay and Bryn Terfel. Eminent maestro Claudio Abbado came in second in the vote totals.
Fischer received her prize was presented at a ceremony today at the Dorchester Hotel in London. Also announced and presented were the complete 2007 Classic FM Gramophone Awards for artists and recordings, the winners of which were selected by Gramophone magazine's reviewers and editors.
Pianist Nelson Friere and conductor Riccardo Chailly took Record of the Year honors for their recording of Brahms's Piano Concertos with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. The Young Artist of the Year award went to 31-year-old Vasily Petrenko, the chief conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic — which won the Classic FM Magazine Award for Audience Innovation for such imaginiative initiatives as the "virtual concert" the orchestra recently gave on the online network Second Life. Deutsche Grammophon was named Label of the Year. Soprano legend Montserrat Caballé, 74 years old and still performing, received the annual Lifetime Achievement award.
Dynamic young conductor Gustavo Dudamel and his longtime band, the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, won the second annual WQXR Gramophone Special Recognition Award, presented by the magazine and New York radio station 96.3 WQXR-FM. The citation states that Dudamel and the Bolívar Youth Orchestra "were chosen for their outstanding contribution to the world of classical music and the example they give of what music can do to transform people's lives."
A complete list of winners is below.
Artist of the Year
Editor's Choice Award
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