Gramophone’s ‘Orchestra of the Year Festival’ streams online

The Czech Philharmonic led by Semyon Bychkov © Petra Hajska

For the fifth consecutive year, Gramophone hosts its Classical Music Awards, during which the 2022 Orchestra of the Year will be announced. This evening, Gramophone’s Orchestra of the Year Festival will be streamed online on the magazine’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

This category, which celebrates those ensembles which have recorded some of the finest performances in the classical repertoire, is the only one of the Classical Music Awards to be decided by the public. This year’s 10 nominees for Orchestra of the Year are the Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, The Hallé, Les Siècles, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia of London and the Vienna Philharmonic.

Les Siècles – courtesy Les Siècles

This list of nominees is derived from the degree to which each orchestra has impressed the editors and reviewers of Gramophone, and each of those selected has released what Gramophone describes as “…. magnificent and often thought-provoking new albums over the past 12 months”.

Previous winners of this illustrious award include the Minnesota Orchestra (2021), the Philadelphia Orchestra (2020), Hong Kong Philharmonic (2019) and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (2018).

The online concert will include these performances:

Beethoven’s Symphony No 5 in C minor, op 67 by Les Siècles, led by François-Xavier Roth. Les Siècles and François-Xavier Roth record for Harmonia Mundi.

The Mahler Chamber Orchestra © Molina Visuals

Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 23 in A, K488 by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Leif Ove Andsnes who appears courtesy of Sony Classical.

Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 3 in A minor, Op 56 by the Czech Philharmonic, conducted by Semyon Bychkov. The Czech Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov record for Pentatone.

Act 1 of Korngold’s Die tote Stadt. The Bayerisches Staatsorchester, with Jonas Kaufmann, Marlis Petersen, Jennifer Johnston and Andrej Filonczyk, directed by Simon Stone, and led by Kirill Petrenko. The Bayersiches Staatsorchester records for BSO Recordings.

The Budapest Festival Orchestra – courtesy Budapest Festival Orchestra

Symphony No 3 in F, Op 90 by Brahms, played by the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer who, with the BFO records for Channel Classics.

Elgar’s Variations on an Original Theme, ‘Enigma’, Op 36, with the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Sir Mark Elder. They record for The Hallé’s own label.

The third and fourth movements of Mahler’s Symphony No 1 – Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen and Stürmisch bewegt – played by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra with Klaus Mäkelä. The Oslo Philharmonic and Klaus Mäkelä record for Decca.

A work by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, led by Manfred Honeck. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck record for Reference Recordings.

The concert will begin at 7.00 pm (BST), 8.00 pm (CET), 2.00 pm (EST), 11.00 am (PCT) and will be available to watch for 24 hours on the Gramophone’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Voting opens at noon on Friday, June 10th and remains live until 8.00 am on Monday, September 7th. For more information and details on how you can place your vote, visit the Gramophone website.

An added benefit of this year’s competition is that Gramophone has created dedicated playlists for each of the 10 nominees on Apple Music.

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