John Eliot Gardiner Wins Gramophone Record of the Year Award

Classic Arts News   John Eliot Gardiner Wins Gramophone Record of the Year Award
Conductor John Eliot Gardiner is the winner of Gramophone magazine's 2005 record of the year award for a recording of Bach Cantatas released on his newly formed label, Soli Deo Gloria.

Other winners of the Gramophone Awards, presented today at the Dorchester Hotel in London, included Michael Tilson Thomas, the Lindsay Quartet, Plšcido Domingo, and Stephen Hough.

The Bach Cantatas CD, which features Gardiner's Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, is the first artist-produced recording to win the prestigious record of the year award. Gardiner formed Soli Deo Gloria after Deutsche Grammophon canceled the conductor's contract and declined to continue releasing the recordings he had made during his Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000.

"Sir John Eliot's Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in the millennial year 2000 remains one of the most ambitious and uplifting musical undertakings ever," said Gramophone editor James Jolly. "After various setbacks he's finally started issuing recordings of this landmark series on his own label Soli Deo Gloria. Bach's sacred cantatas remain among his least-known works but each one is a miracle of imagination, craft, and spirituality and Gardiner responds to all the innumerable challenges of this astounding music."

Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony and the New World Symphony, was named artist of the year, in recognition of his ongoing series of Mahler symphony recordings with the SFSO. Naxos, the innovative independent "budget" label, won label of the year.

The Lindsays, who retired this year after 40 years of performance, were presented with an award for special achievement; Domingo won the Classic FM Listener's Choice Award.

The editor's choice award went to Hough and the Dallas Symphony for a recording of Rachmaninoff piano concertos. Andrew Litton conducted the Hyperion recording.

Mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne was presented with Gramophone's lifetime achievement award earlier this week in New York.

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