Semyon Bychkov has been presented with the BBC Music Magazine Disc of the Year for his recording of Wagner’s opera Lohengrin on the Profil Hänssler label.
At a lively ceremony at Kings Place in London the Russian-born conductor received his award from actor, writer and Wagner enthusiast Simon Callow.
‘This recording was born after several years of planning, reflecting, soul-searching, rehearsing and performing,’ he said. ‘Years of joy, discovery, challenges, occasional and inevitable frustrations and the most indescribable reward of all: living with and inside the beauty of Wagner’s creation.’
Bychkov’s Lohengrin, which features soloists including Johan Botha, Adrianne Pieczonka and others, three choirs and the WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, also took the Opera Award.
The Orchestral Award was won by Patricia Kopatchinskaja for her groundbreaking recording of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto – the Moldovan violinist also delighted the audience with performances of short works by Enescu and Jorge Sánchez-Chiong – while Kyril Zlotnikov of the Jerusalem Quartet accepted the Chamber Award for his ensemble’s recording of Haydn string quartets.
The Choral Award was won by conductor Antonio Pappano for his recording of Verdi’s Requiem made with the Orchestra and Chorus of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia, and the Vocal Award went to mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn for her and pianist Julius Drake’s disc of Tchaikovsky songs. Both Pappano and Stotijn made their acceptance speeches on video, as did pianist Murray Perahia, whose CD of Beethoven Piano Sonatas Op. 14 Nos 1 &2, Op. 26 and Op. 28 took the Instrumental Award.
While the above six awards were all voted for by BBC Music Magazine readers, four further awards were decided by a jury of reviewers: the DVD of the Year was won by the Mariinsky’s recreation of the original choreography of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring; the Premiere Recording of the Year went to Court Lane Music for its disc of chamber music by Imogen Holst; the Technical Excellence award was won by BIS Records for the Swedish label’s stunning recording of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2, performed by the Bergen Philharmonic under Andrew Litton; and the Elias String Quartet were named Newcomer of the Year following their debut recording on the Wigmore Live label – before receiving their award the quartet treated the audience to some Mendelssohn.
Image: James Cheadle