The winners of the 2018 BBC Music Magazine Awards were announced last night during a ceremony at London’s King’s Place, and we are delighted to report that Bernard Haitink, Joyce DiDonato, Emmanuel Pahud and Julien Brocal are among this year’s winners. The winners across the seven categories were voted for by the public, after a jury of expert reviewers whittled down more than 200 five-star rated discs from the last year to a shortlist of 21.
Bernard Haitink and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks’ recording of Mahler Symphony No. 3 won both the Orchestral Choice Award and the coveted Recording of the Year Award. BBC Music Magazine called the recording “a perfect beauty of a performance, natural sound matching natural evolution and every solo perfectly intoned”. Haitink – currently on tour with Orchestra Mozart – delivered his acceptance speech via video, will feature on the cover of the magazine’s May issue.
Berlioz’s epic two-part opera Les Troyens starring Joyce DiDonato in her role debut as Didon received the Opera Award. This new Erato recording of the complete, uncut score of Les Troyens – Berlioz himself never saw it performed in its entirety – is taken from concert performances that took place in Strasbourg in April 2017, described by Forum Opéra as “the musical event of the year”. The recording has also been nominated for a 2018 International Opera Award, the winners of which will be revealed on Monday 9 April.
The Chamber Award went to Debussy Sonates & Trio featuring flautist Emmanuel Pahud. Marking the centenary of Debussy’s death, this album of chamber music is centred on the three sonatas the composer wrote during World War I, and features five other leading French artists: pianist Bertrand Chamayou, violinist Renaud Capuçon, cellist Edgar Moreau, viola player Gerard Caussé and harpist Marie-Pierre Langlamet.
Pianist Julien Brocal won Newcomer of the Year for his debut album Les états d’Âme, released in January 2017 and featuring the 24 preludes and Second Piano Sonata of Frédéric Chopin. The Guardian described it as “quietly riveting” and BBC Music Magazine as “spellbinding”. Last month, Julien released his second album Reflections, featuring the works of Federico Mompou and Maurice Ravel. Julien performed moments from Mompou’s Variations on a theme of Chopin at the ceremony last night.
The full list of winners can be seen here. Congratulations to all!