The awards will be officially presented at a ceremony on October 24, but the winners were announced last week at a Munich press conference.
The German contemporary music group Ensemble Modern was named orchestra of the year; Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Concertus Musicus Wien won the early music prize for a recording of Haydn's The Creation. Simon Rattle will be honored for his performances of the Beethoven symphonies, and pianist Lang Lang for a CD of Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn piano concertos.
In addition, composer Gy‹rgi Ligeti will receive a lifetime achievement award and cellist Mstislav Rostropovitch be honored as an "ambassador of music."
Thielemann, the new music director of the Munich Philharmonic, will lead the orchestra at the ceremony.