BBC Music Magazine announces nominees for its 2022 Awards

In the year of BBC Music Magazine’s 30th anniversary celebrations, the nominees for the 2022 BBC Music Magazine Awards have been announced. Despite the challenges of the last year for the classical music industry, artists and labels have delivered top-class recordings.

Musicians and sound engineers have become more accustomed to the limitations of social distancing and have thrived under challenging recording conditions. Many of this year’s nominated recordings were captured under distancing restrictions or, in the case of married violin-and-piano duo Elena Urioste and Tom Poster, inspired by lockdown projects. The pair shared daily videos on their YouTube channels as part of their #UriPosteJukeBox project, creating a huge digital community and commissioning a smorgasbord of new works – many of which are heard on their new recording, nominated for this year’s Premiere Award. The Covid-19 pandemic also provided a recording opportunity for The English Concert and its director Harry Bicket, who have – our critic says – ‘gifted us the best-ever recording of Rodelinda’. Facing a cancelled concert production of the Handel opera, the ensemble decided to record in London instead with the same musicians, each two metres apart.

The blend and precision required in scores like this require incredible skill, something conductor Simon Rattle praised the London Symphony Orchestra for during its recording of Beethoven piano concertos with Krystian Zimerman, nominated in the Concerto category. ‘Sometimes it feels like blowing smoke signals over a mountain,’ he says. ‘But the effort almost suits [the music of] Beethoven. Struggle is part of the style. He is a composer who demands that everyone is straining every sinew, and who always asks more than you can give.’ The LSO appear twice in this year’s list of nominees: once under Rattle and again under their music director designate Antonio Pappano, who is due to take over from Rattle next year.

As well as the more familiar composers, this year’s list of nominations features several works by composers whose music rarely receive such outings. These range from Dutilleux and Price to Busoni and Coleridge-Taylor, whose music is celebrated in soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn’s debut recital disc. His best-known work The Song of Hiawatha has overshadowed the 80 opus numbers he had to his credit when he died in 1912, much of which remains unrecorded – until now. Dussek might have been a celebrated musical figure during the Classical era, but he has become unjustly neglected over the centuries. This is the first time his Messe Solemnelle has been captured on disc, performed by the Academy of Ancient Music for the first time since its composition over 200 years ago. The ensemble’s recording has been nominated for the Choral Award.

This year’s jury was chaired by BBC Music Magazine reviews editor Michael Beek, who was joined by critics Andrew McGregor, Berta Joncus, George Hall and Rebecca Franks. Together, they whittled down a longlist of 312 recordings to the final list of 27 nominees – with 17 record labels represented in the shortlist.

Voting closes at midnight on Monday 28 February.

The winners of this year’s BBC Music Magazine Awards will be announced at a ceremony at London’s Kings Place on Thursday 28 April. As well as the publicly voted categories, the magazine’s editorial team will announce the winners of its BBC Music Magazine Personality of the Year and Recording of the Year.

Vote now in this year’s BBC Music Magazine Awards at classical-music.com/awards.

The full list of 2022 BBC Music Magazine Awards nominees:

Chamber Award

Ravel/Saint-Saëns

Piano Trios
Sitkovetsky Trio
BIS BIS-2219

American Quintets

Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective
Chandos CHAN 20224

The Mad Lover

Thomas Dunford (lute), Théotime Langlois de Swarte (violin)
Harmonia Mundi HMM902305

Orchestral Award

Orchestral_1

Florence Price: Symphonies Nos 1 & 3

Philadelphia Orchestra/Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Deutsche Grammophon 486 2029

Vaughan Williams: Symphonies Nos 4 & 6

London Symphony Orchestra/Antonio Pappano
LSO Live LSO0867

Dutilleux: Le Loup

Sinfonia of London/John Wilson
Chandos CHSA 5263

Concerto Award

Concerto_1

Bartók/Martinů

Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin), Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Jakub Hrůša
BIS BIS-2457

Plaisirs illuminés

Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin), Sol Gabetta (cello); Camerata Bern/Francisco Coll
Alpha Classics ALPHA580

Beethoven: Piano Concertos

Krystian Zimerman (piano); London Symphony Orchestra/Simon Rattle
Deutsche Grammophon 483 9971

Choral Award

Choral_1

Dussek: Missa Solemnelle

Academy of Ancient Music/Richard Egarr
AAM AAM011

JS Bach: Cantatas, BWV 32, 82 & 106

Dunedin Consort/John Butt
Linn Records CKD672

Arvo Pärt/Schnittke: Choral Works

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir/Kaspars Putniņš
BIS BIS-2521

Opera Award

Opera_1

Handel: Ariodante

Cecilia Bartoli et al; Les Musiciens du Prince Monaco/Gianluca Capuano; dir. Christof Loy (Salzburg, 2017)
Unitel DVD 802408

Handel: Rodelinda

Lucy Crowe, Iestyn Davies et al; The English Concert/Harry Bicket
Linn Records CKD658

Philip Glass: Akhnaten

Anthony Roth Costanzo et al; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus/Karen Kamensek; dir. Phelim McDermott (NYC, 2019)
Orange Mountain Music DVD OMM5011

Instrumental Award

Instrumental_1

Paganini: 24 Caprices

Alina Ibragimova (violin)
Hyperion CDA68366

Busoni: Piano Works

Peter Donohoe (piano)
Chandos CHAN 20237

On DSCH

Works by Shostakovich and R Stevenson
Igor Levit (piano)
Sony Classical 19439809212

Vocal Award

Vocal_1

Tiranno

Kate Lindsey (mezzo- soprano); Arcangelo/Jonathan Cohen
Alpha Classics ALPHA736

Phidylé

Kateřina Kněžíková (soprano); Janáček Philharmonic/Robert Jindra
Supraphon SU42962

Baritenor

Michael Spyres (baritone); Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg/Marko Letonja
Erato 9029515666

Newcomer Award

Newcomer_1

Heart & Hereafter

Coleridge-Taylor Songs
Elizabeth Llewellyn (soprano)
Orchid Classics ORC100164

The Centre is Everywhere

Works by Edmund Finnis et al
Manchester Collective
Bedroom Community HVALUR38

Passione

Tenor arias by Puccini, Tosti et al
Freddie De Tommaso (tenor)
Decca 485 1509

Premiere Award

Premiere_1

The Jukebox Album

Works by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Clarice Assad, Jesse Montgomery et al
Elena Urioste (violin), Tom Poster (piano)
Orchid Classics ORC100173

Sebastian Fagerlund

Oceano etc
Meta4 String Quartet et al
BIS BIS-2324 

Louis Andriessen

The Only One
Nora Fischer (soprano); Los Angeles Philharmonic/Esa-Pekka Salonen
Nonesuch 7559791733